Monday, February 20, 2017

EMAIL: Week 30 "Transfers... Saying goodbye to Jersey City"

WRITTEN February 20th, 2017
Hey everyone!
Man this week just flew by! (Like every other week as well!)

Well we had transfer calls last night and a lot of changes were made! All the missionaries in our ward (Elder Johnson and I and the two sisters) are leaving and also pretty much the whole zone but 3 companionships are leaving! 
I am going to Dover which is like a hour away, my new companions name is elder Griffith. I haven't met him yet but I've heard a lot of really great things about him, I'll meet him tomorrow at zone conference. Cool fact I'm actually taking the spot of my trainer Elder Jordan because he goes home tomorrow! Crazy how time goes by!
Anyways I'm super excited for the change but also kinda sad. I've been here in this area for six months and I've been able to create awesome relationships with the ward and the people here in jersey city. Had some experiences that helped me grow in so many ways and experiences that I'll never forget. But now God wants me to go somewhere else to meet different people and have more experiences that will help me grow.

This past week has been a mixture of things. Exchanges, deep cleaning of the apartment, getting the car fixed, valentines, being sick with a pretty gnarly cold, and saying goodbyes.

I also I've been able to think quite a bit, I was in bed all day Saturday with a really bad cold. Fever, throwing up, cough, headaches, you name it.... it was bad! But what I was thinking is that every challenge or trial that we have is something that we can learn from. There is always something  to be learned from wether small or large. And what I learned is something that I've been slowing learning while here in jersey city. And it's that service to others helps others with love. Love is something that Christ had, pure love. And when charity and service is present the pure love of Christ is felt, it's so awesome! I just want to let you know that I have felt the pure love of Christ this week.
While I was in bed sick with a cold all day Saturday my companion went out of his way to text all the members in the ward letting know that I was sick. Something amazing happened, the ward came together to help serve faster then I have ever seen. I woke up about noon and my companion had moved a table into our room while I was asleep and he put all these goodies from the ward on the table to surprise me. We had soup, ginger ale, cleaning supplies, medicine, all sorts of good teas, a member dropped off a humidifier for me and some oils. Members wanted to take care of meals for the next few days seriously I felt so loved and thankful for the ward I've been in for six months. It's been hard to help the members have love for each other and other members in the ward, we've been praying and fasting to know how to unify the ward but I really believe that me being sick was the answer to many many prayers.

Also I want to let you guys know of a cool goal that I've had since I left home. My goal was to be able to finish the Book of Mormon every transfer (every six weeks). So far I've been able to meet my goal every transfer! I was able to finish it again earlier this week. So now that makes 5 times I have finished while on my mission. And every time I finish the Book of Mormon my testimony just grows and grows. I know for a fact that the Book of Mormon is true and that there is no way that a 14 year old kid without an education could've written it just to write a book. When I read the Book of Mormon I become over whelmed with the spirit and it's truthfulness. It's so cool! I challenge all of you to set time aside everyday to read a chapter or two, it will bless your lives in so many ways. Remember that the Book of Mormon is the MOST CORRECT book in the world! There is no other book that can help us align our lives with the gospel than the Book of Mormon.

3 Nephi 13:21
"21 ​For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

New Jersey Fun Fact: "New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq. mi.) than Havana, Cuba."

Have an awesome week!

Elder Marz

I don't think I have much more to report on but one more thing. We were

getting our car fixed and we weren't in our area so there wasn't a whole
lot we could do so we walked over to this mall and found somewhere to eat
and then we saw this little kiosk for getting your eyebrows done and my
comp said that I couldn't handle the pain, I will tell you one thing, I did
something this week for the first and last time... I got my eyebrows
threaded.... yeah you heard that right. I got them threaded and it was so
painful that I probably won't be doing it again haha😂. Memories!


EMAIL: Week 29 "More Bowling and More Snow"

WRITTEN February 13th, 2017

Hey everyone!
Here's what some of my week looked like
Monday: Pday and two canceled appointments:(
Well we went bowling again as a zone and I did really good (surprising cause I didn't know I was that good!) (I'm the second one from the top). Went back to the church did some emails and played some ball. We had two (the only two appointments set up for the night) cancel and they were both meal appointments so that was kinda depressing, but it's ok cause we had leftover burgers that a member made for us so we just made those and they were super good!

Tuesday: Zone Meeting and Poor Elder Herbertson
We had zone meeting and we had an awesome training on how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ less like a checklist of things for our investigators to have but more of connecting all those things back to Christ. We do all this things follow in Christ's footsteps and it's super important for our investigators to know that. After zone meeting we had to go on quick splits with some other elders. One of them (Elder Herbertson) was really sick and was told to go home and rest but they still had appointments to go to so I stayed at home with elder Hebertson while elder Johnson went with elder silliampa (Elder Hebertson's companion) to all the appointments. Fun little change but we hope that he gets better soon.

Wednesday: Area shut down for a day and exchange with zone leaders!
We had an exchange with the zone leaders which means that elder Johnson and I both went up to union city for the day and night. It was super fun! We went to service at a Salvation Army and served some food up to some homeless people. We did some knocking and street contacting. And then we went to go help them with there wards mutual. It was so nice outside, like in the 50s! We did a table stand for their English class that they have and we talked to like 15 people in the first 10 min! I learned a lot of cool things from our zone leaders on the exchange. Lots of things we can use in our area to make it better. It was a fun little (approved haha) sleepover.

Thursday: Snow....snow.... and more snow
Well we woke up to 9 inches of snow and then it decided to snow the rest of the day so all we did was we went around to members who need help with the snow and we shoveled it for them! Service is the best way to show love!
Friday: We got our car back!
We had to take a little trip to Morristown to pick back up our car because it was in the shop for three weeks and it still needs body work:/ but now we have it so that's good! We had the rest of the afternoon planned out but they all ended up canceling on us:( But we did get the opportunity to meet with our ward mission leader to have coordination so that was nice.

Saturday: Table stands with the English elders!
We've been trying to find new people to teach so we thought we would join up with the English elders and booth it up around in different spots of the city. The crazy thing is is that I live in one of the most populated areas of the US and it's still hard to find people to teach. Yeah you talk to tons of people but not a whole lot of them actually want to listen to our message. It's tough but it's the life of a missionary! Table stands are a pretty good way to get the word out and get some names and addresses so that we can stop by and drop off a Book of Mormon and maybe teach them some more:)

Sunday: Sick day for Elder Johnson:( 
Was getting pretty sick on Friday with a cold and it just kept getting worse and worse. So we messaged our senior couple who take care of us and they told us to not leave the house so we didn't. I made elder Johnson some French toast and some other stuff and he just slept all day. It was a nice opportunity for me to put some pen on paper and write some stuff.

Well this past week was pretty shot so hopefully this next week we'll be a bit more free to do some more finding and teaching.
Love you all!

Elder Evan Marz

EMAIL: Week 28 "Exchanges, Bedbugs and more Snow :)"

WRITTEN February 6th, 2017 

Here's what week 28 looked like ðŸ‘‡

Monday: Pday and bowling!
I think I sent the pictures of bowling last week but we went bowling! We went shopping and wrote some emails and played some ball you know, pdays are usually the same.

Tuesday: District meeting and a training from Elder Cherrington 
We had district meeting but before that we were waiting for the Bayonne elders at the train station and we went and took some pictures (and of course it was snowing!) and then after we had a training by a senior missionary about using the scriptures more when we teach. It was really awesome. By the time we were done we only had time for one appointment and then English class.

Wednesday: Pictures on the fridge.
We went over to a members house and she had picture of us from Christmas! She is really the sweetest lady ever! She always makes us sooo much food and then she makes us take the extra home! She says in here own words that she is a "missionary forever" hahah she really is though. She always has a friend or her superintendent over  when we are.

Thursday: service and dentist.
We went to service and then Elder Johnson had a dentist appointment. He had 5 cavities! He got three of them taken care of them and then 2 on Friday. And then we had English class later that night.

Friday: More cavities and getting sprayed and exchange!
We had the last dentist appointment and while we were waiting for the doctor Elder Johnson started to spray me with the tools😂. After that we had an exchange and Elder Forysth came down with me. Cool fact elder Forysth and I actually were in the same ward when we lived in Parker! We had an activity with the young men in union city, we played basketball and they kicked my gringo butt!
Saturday: chinches! (Bed bugs!)
Elder Forysth and I had to go help a member move a sofa that had bedbugs inside of it. It was super sketchy. Bedbugs transfer from you clothes and skin and then they just start to bite you and then you have them everywhere! Soooo after we moved that dumb sofa I'm really hoping that we don't have any! We literally had to move this sofa down 3 flights of "apartment stairs" which means that it was really really complicated! 

Sunday: teaching elders quorum
Sunday was awesome. Testimony meeting was so special. The spirit was so strong. We taught elders quorum. We trained all of the elders on something the mission uses called the Invite. We use it to bring back less actives and inactives. It went super well and hopefully we can get more of our priesthood to come to church because of this. We had two meal appointments after church and we were stuffed!

The weeks just keep on blending together. Transfers are the 22nd and I'm excited to see if I'm staying, I'm probably going to go but we'll wait and see!

Talk to y'all next week!

Elder Marz

EMAIL: Week 27 "P-Day Bowling and Cake that looks like a FACE"

WRITTEN January 30th, 2017

Hey errbody!

Here's what my week looked like:

Monday: Pday
Went shopping, then to the chapel for bball and emails and you know the rest.  After we had an appointment at 6 and another at 7:30 with our recent convert, we put him on date (which is before transfers so I know I'm going to be here!) to go to the temple with family names so that's going to be super awesome! Our recent convert Santos is such and awesome guy. He was married and baptized in December and now he's in the young men's presidency as the second counselor and he's loving it! It's so awesome to stand back and see how the gospel blesses people's lives including their families. A little bit more about santos is that he likes to fish (So now you can see our connection!) and he said that after my mission he want to come with his family to st George and go fishing! And meet meet and the rest of my fam, it will be so fun. His kids are so awesome, they drew me cards for my birthday:)

Tuesday: English class
We had studies in the morning and then we went to district meeting in union city (like 20 min away), had an appointment with a less active who's trying to find a new job. He has lots of things going on in his life right now so we offered to give him a blessing so he will be comforted and have a clear mind with all this stuff happening. After that we had our English class and it was awesome! Three new people came! Hopefully more will come:)

Wednesday: Missionary Broadcast from SLC.
We had an awesome opportunity to watch a live broadcast from SLC. Some pretty big things are happening! They changed missionary daily (including pday) schedules world-wide! Pretty interesting changes but they are really inspired! Also another change that was made had to do with our key indicators: things we report to our leaders so they can see our focus and how well we are working. Before this broadcast we were reporting 9 different things, 9 different numbers concerning different aspects of the work. They have now cut dropped 5 of those things and now we only report 4 things: investigators confirmed, investigators on date, investigators at church, and new investigators. Not a whole lot but now we really have to focus on not just the "good" or the "better" but now we focus on the "best", all of the changes were so inspired. It's so cool to see how the lord is hastening his work in these latter days.

Thursday: Service and sandwiches and my 6 month mark!
We had BOM mission-wide call with President Taggart were we dissect a chapter in the BOM and with knowledge and wisdom that Pres Taggart has you can say that our minds were opened! Haha after that we went to service with the other elders and then got sandwiches at a little cornerstone that one of the members in our ward owns. We went over to he Greenville elders apartment (they usually come to service with us but elder Shaw was super super sick so they didn't come. There's a virus going around like crazy and almost all the missionaries in our zone have got it but us so hopefully we don't get it!). We went over and ate them there with them just to give them some company. After that we had weekly planning and then a dinner appointment with a member. They we headed over to English class. The same people and more are coming!

We finished weekly planning and we were supposed to have 4 appointments but one flaked but it happens. Had two with members and then went over to one of our eternal investigators (she's only an eternal investigator because she's been taught since 2009 and her kids are members but she's just waiting to be married/not married so it's just a matter of time). We just continue building her faith. She comes to church, knows it's true, reads the BOM. She does everything she's supposed too but can't get baptized yet:( Hopefully something changes so so she can.

Saturday: Cake day
In the morning we had 2 appointments cancel so we decided that we were going to some service for the ward. We decided to make cakes for those families in the ward that maybe we don't talk to or don't see very much just to let that know that we appreciate them and that we are thinking of them. If you had to pick one thing to do for other people to help them it will almost always be service.

Sunday: Special surprise!
So at church we were sitting in sacrament meeting and bishop stands up and tells the congregation that the people that were supposed to give a talk did not show up so he said that the missionaries were going to bear their testimonies. Super awesome opportunity to bear my testimony. As a missionary I am constantly bearing testimony of the things I know are true. It's super important that we learn to share our testimonies even if they are small and simple. When we do that we become more comfortable with sharing what we believe. Went by a members house with one of the young men (David) who was baptized like 8 months ago and now he's getting his mission papers ready, anyways we went to bless the sacrament for an older lady who lives with her mother who is 104 years old! Her body may be old but man is she still young in getting mind. She was flirting with David, telling him that she wants a boyfriend. She wanted a hug from him so he did and she liked it haha it was funny. 

Well that was my week in a pretty large nutshell!
We got two new investigators this week so we are working with some people!

Love you guys!
Talk to you next week!

Elder Marz

Monday, January 30, 2017

EMAIL: Week 26 "Field-trip to Morristown and Zone Conference"

WRITTEN 1/23/17

Monday: Pday and a member had a baby!
So pday we went shopping and then we came back to the chapel for emails and basketball and all sorts of different games with the whole zone. We've got a pretty awesome zone! After all the fun and games we took the Greenville elder home and then we had a dinner appointment with the Maldonados. The father is bishops second counselor so it was really nice to meet with him, talk about the ward and all. They made this shrimp soup that was soooo good! During our lesson the sisters called us and told us that a member in our ward is going into labor and we needed to pick them up (the sisters). We had to drive doing to Bayonne to pick up a bunch of stuff that a guy was donating for the baby. Stuff like a car seat, diapers, humidifier, tons of stuff. He really was such a blessing to that family because they don't have the money to buy that stuff. She didn't even go to the doctors once! 

Woke up, did some study'n, had lunch. Called some people and then scheduled some appointments during the week and then had to drop off the car at the sisters place cause they had to take it to a doctors apt. We figured out English class for that night and then went to an appointment with a less active. Her name is Iran, she's a single mother and she has 3 kids, 2 sons and a daughter. Super awesome fam. Loves the missionaries sooo much! She fed us some Brazilian BBQ, it was goood! We are working with her about pride. Pride always gets in the way no matter what. Pride is the thing that stops progression. And right now she has some pride issues with people in the ward and she's not progressing so we are trying to fix that so she'll come back:) Then after that we had English class and we had a solid 2 people there! Yeah it's not a lot but we're trying to get more to come. I even made brownies haha

We had four lessons back to back. All of them went really good! We gave a blessing to a less active member that has a lot going on in his life and he's trying to find a new job. He's a single father of 2, a son and a daughter. Awesome family who's just trying to figure some things out right now. Lesson after that, we scheduled a day for when Santos (our recent convert that just got baptized back in December) and his wife can go to the temple to do baptisms. His wife has been a member since 2011 I think but she has never done baptisms for the dead before so this will be sooo cool! Or last lesson was with the Pozos. They're from Peru and they make really good good! The father has been less active for years and years but other than him, his whole family is super active. His wife is the relief society president his daughters are in the primary presidency and also in young women's. Elder Jordan and I tried for 12 weeks to get inside their house but never did. Just about 2 or 3 weeks ago we did! Now we are setting up a soccer night (because he loves soccer!) every Friday. So I guess you could say good things are rolling along.

Thursday: Field trip to Morristown 
Had to take or car into Morristown to get the engine looked at by the ford dealership. We left our apartment at 6am, got there before they opened. Got the car in and we were ready to get this thing fixed as fast as possible. Was in the waiting room around 10 and the guy that was helping us came over and asked "you guys waiting? I thought it was a drop off. My guys have set that car aside and have been doing oil changes all morning..." we were a little upset cause we were there before the place even opened just so we could be the first ones out of there. Then he says "I'll get my guys to look at it right away but, it will be another 2 or 3 hours until we figure out what's wrong." Sooo long story short is we just walked around Morristown all day. Talked to some people, got lunch, did some weekly planning and stuff like that. We were notified that the car has to stay at the dealership till next week sometime so we got a replacement for the meantime. We didn't get back to jersey city till about 6:30ish. Yikes what a long day...

Friday: Zone meeting!
Friday was another super long day. We had zone conference. It started at 8 and didn't end till 4:30... tons of awesome training and talks given by president Taggart, sister Taggart, and the assistants, and of course the zone leaders. We talked about the sabbath day, revelation through the Book of Mormon, revelation through prayer, teaching investigators to pray the right way. So many important things were brought up for our use in our specific areas. Sooo awesome. Our mission-wide goal for this month is 50 baptisms! And I think we are going to do it!

We finally got to see a less active that I haven't seen since November. They have never been to church in the 6 months I've been here so yeah. We talked about the importance of the sabbath day and why we have it. She said that now because it's in the afternoon it's going to be easier for her to come, so we're crossing our fingers! We also saw Jasmine (our jersey city mom) and talked about an activity we can do with the ward to help unify the members. Had a lesson with one of our investigators and his brother. Our investigator is so awesome, he just listens to everything we say and he's super open about all this (which is super different cause here we are used to people putting walls up the second you approach them). He says something is missing in his life and he needs to figure out that it is this!

Sunday: Everyone at church!
Had to run over to the sisters to give them the sacrament because they can't leave their apartment cause they have a virus😬. Stoped by an investigators house to see if he was going to make it to church but he couldn't come cause he had to work:/ Other than that there were sooo many people at church! Maybe most of the less actives that we work with were there and even some that I've never seen at church once while I've been here where there! Such an awesome day! The talks were wonderful, clases went well, everything was super awesome!

Well I know it's long but I hope you all like it:)

Elder Marz

Sunday, January 29, 2017

EMAIL: Week 25 " Happy Birthday to Elder Marz"

WRITTEN 1/16/17

Monday: Pday
A new schedule for pday came out from our president and if that pday starts at 8 instead of 10. So now we have two extra hours to do what we need to, that's pretty cool! We went shopping and then the whole zone got together at menchies for frozen yogurt and then we all went to the chapel and played basketball, 21, pig, gatorball, lots of fun games. We would do emails in the middle so that's why it super hard to just crank out my emails out, so now I'm trying to write my email throughout the week so you guys actually get an update haha. Monday night we had an appointment with our recent convert Santos. Such an awesome guy! He has such an awesome family and kids. Hopefully in this next month we can take him and his wife to the temple for baptisms!

The sisters had to take our car up to transfer conference cause sister Freestone is getting transferred out. We had to go up to their apartment so they could put all of her stuff in the car and then we got dropped off back at our apartment. Finished our studies and then went over to the chapel to plan for English class. Then went over to a less actives apartment and she fed us so much food! (Look at the pictures!) we really needed to go so we weren't going to be late for our next meal appointment and she wanted us to take down her Christmas tree and in the mean time she was fixing up desert.... I was so done with food and even the thought that we had another meal appointment right after yikes! We went to our next meal appointment and ate some more food and then booked it over to our Spanish class. Only two showed up but they are the same two that have come every time so that's a good sign! 

Wednesday: First district meeting of the transfer
Well we had our first district meeting of the transfer and we got a pretty fun district. We got some new faces in the zone so it's going to be fun to get to know them all. Oh I met this one elder who now is in our zone, his name is elder Forsyth and he's from Parker Colorado and knows our family! Somehow there's a connection! It's a small world. I think he said that his sister knew the twins but yeah I don't think we actually knew each other, but we might have! Later that day we went over to a members house for some early birthday celebrating. He order some really good Dominican food, we ate everything and we hit a wall. We were so tired! The member we were with started to fall asleep as he was talking to us😂 Soooo we told him we needed to go, otherwise we were all going to fall asleep! We left and went over to Williams (young man who has been a member for a year) and was hoping to have a lesson but his little brother Will is such a little rascal. No joke this kid is crazy! When he's around no one can focus or pay attention, I mean this little kid is so entertaining!  After that we headed home.

Thursday: My Birthday!
Woke up, got ready. My companion made me French toast for breakfast (which was super bomb btw) and then had studies. Went to service and then got sandwiches after and ate them at the English elders apartment. Elder brewer made me a cake! Hahaha I wasn't even expecting a cake from anyone but he surprised me! It was like a maple spice cake and it was super yummy. Did some weekly planing and then we went to our English class. We brought the extra cake to English class and they all really liked it. Throughout the day I was getting little messages from people in the mission and calls from members, and then I got my bday present from home, it was an awesome birthday!

Friday: Happened to be Friday the 13th...
Well we had all sorts of things planed but not a whole lot of them actually ended up happening. First we wanted to take or car in to the shop to get the transmission fixed but they told us it was going to take like 4-5 days! Yeah so that didn't happen and then we were supposed to go help a member paint but that didn't happen cause they cancelled. Went to lunch at this Asian restaurant and we both got the same exact fortune! (I though that was a little creepy, I mean what are the odds of that?) Then had to go find a dentist for elder Johnson cause he has a few cavities that are bothering him. Found a dentist but didn't get them fixed. We were there like 3 hours... we just did X-rays and maybe we'll come back on Monday and get them fixed. After that we had coordination with our ward mission leader to discuss who we are working with and what we need help with. After our meeting we went over to a members house for dinner and talked about the less actives in the ward and how we can help them. It was awesome!

Saturday: Felt like we were living Groundhog Day all over again!
Man we had all these plans but almost all of them fell through, just like Friday. People canceling appointments, car service shop not open, had to go to the dentist again, knocking doors and nobody wants to talk, tried to set up a table stand but then it started snowing and no one is out walking around. Not a whole lot was going right for us. But one thing did go right for us and that is we were able to have an appointment with less active who's husband isn't a member. We had a really awesome lesson. They have never met elder Johnson so they spent some time getting to know him and then we were talking about Alma 36 and we had an awesome discussion. Hopefully we'll see them at church!

We had studied in the morning and then we had church at one. We went over to a members house for dinner, they wanted to celebrate my birthday. They decorated and got me a little party hat. We had some super yummy food! And then they had a cake and some presents too! It was so much fun, definitely a memory I'll never forget. The members here have been so nice to me. I have developed a love for the people here in our ward and it's going to be really hard to leave them. They've been so nice to me. It's weird to think that at the end of this month I'll have 6 months here! That's kinda a long time but really it isn't. I still can't believe it's been that long. Time just flies!

That's what my week looked like, sorry it's so long! I tried something new this week with writing my emails and it works better for me but I just need to shorten it up.
Love you guys!
Thanks for all your birthday wishes! 

Elder Marz