Wednesday, August 31, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 5 MTC - Last week before New Jersey

ELDER MARZ AND ELDER DAVIS - FUN BACK STORY... YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU MEET AND HOW THEY'LL BLESS YOUR LIFE ONE DAY. WHEN WE LIVED IN AUSTIN TEXAS WE WERE FRIENDS WITH THE APPLEGATE FAMILY. TIFFANY APPLEGATE'S OLDER SISTER LIVES HERE IN ST. GEORGE... HER GOOD FRIEND FROM ARIZONA HAS A SON (MASON, PICTURED ABOVE) THAT WAS CALLED TO THE SAME EXACT MISSION AS EVAN!!! WAAAHAT! THEY WENT INTO THE MTC THE SAME DAY AND LEAVE FOR THE MISSION FIELD THE SAME DAY. ID SAY THAT IS PRETTY SPECIAL AND I LOVE THE WAY THE LORD WORKS IN OUR LIVES. IN MYSTERIOUS  AND WONDERFUL WAYS:)

One other bit a coolness.... Another friend in our ward here is St. George, her nephew (Elder Olsen)  is serving in Evans mission. He left the Mexico MTC to head to New Jersey the day Evan entered the MTC. This little blurb came in his email home this week. Pretty cool!

"President Taggart said he has seen more miracles going on in this mission than he has ever seen before.  God is blessing our mission for our obedience he says. " 

(Partially edited) 
08/31/2016
Hey fam and Friends!
Its crazy to think that i leave on monday! My flight leaves at 7 but we have to leave the MTC at 230am! Im super excited! Everyone is gearing up and getting ready! We've all been packing our rooms, it feels so weird to be packing cause it feels like i just unpacked yesterday haha. Everyone is so ready to leave and get in the field already, we are all speaking lots and lots of spanish. Actuly we are speaking so much spanish that we read the BOM every night as a district in spanish. I got this really cool scripure case for my spanish BOM and its leather and has an engraving of the SLC Temple on it, lets just say i love it alot (I had a picture of the front but it didnt turn out very well so ill have to send a pic next week)

I got the pictures!!! I was wanting some pictures so bad cause the only pictures i had were of myself in that book you made me. I flip through those pictures every night, they make me happy;) I showed my teachers the pitures and the woulndt stop laughing about how we have so many blonde heads in our fam. I got your letter you sent through missionarymail but i havent gotten a single hand written letter if youve been sending those. They say it takes a month for letters and packages sent from the US to get here so hopefully theyll forward them up to NJ.

Sunday was really good. I didnt get to talk but i did have to opportunity to teach preisthood to all the elders in our zone. I taught about the importance of the spirit and why it is essentail to have the spirit allways (I taught in english. Only the talks need to be in spanish). Lots of elders had insite to share which was nice. Our last sunday is a fast sunday so we dont need to prepare talks.

There has been lots of sick elders! Last thursday i had to sit in the doctors office for 4 hours while one of my companions was hooked up to an IV. Another elder that lives in our house is sick. He has actully been in the hospital in mexico city for 4 days. He has a Urinary tract infection and a kidney infection and hes getting his appendix removed he should be coming back in a few days. Alot of bugs are going around. Last night after pizza night i didnt feeel really good but this morning i feel great. One fact about my time here at the MTC is that Ive lost 15 pounds? Im not really sure how i did but i have.
Pdays we are still ballin up and gettin gainz. We actully invented a new game called MARZ is like pig but with MARZ... or other elders last names, so now that i think about it we really didnt make a new game haha.

Well peeps everything is going well for me here and i cant wait to get up to NJ next week, its going to be so much fun!
Love you all and thanks for all your prayers and thoughts!
Elder Marz

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

EMAIL : WEEK 4 MTC - Ukulele and Haircut




(partially edited) 

Hey everyone! 



This week has gone by so fast! Its crazy to think that next week is my last week here at the mtc!
Sunday was great! We had some really spiritual moments during all the meetings. I told you guys that the talks are chossen by random on sunday, well no one in our district has been asked to give a talk so we are all betting that this next sunday most of us will have to give talks. I only say this cause this next sunday is our last sunday to give talks since our last sunday is a fast sunday. Everyone in our district is getting along so well. All of our companonships get along really well. I actully found out a couple cool things this week. Theres a elder in my district who lived in aunt Dianes ward. His name is Elder Sam Johnson and his dad is good friends with Dave. 

My companion brought his ukelele with him to the MTC so every night before we go to bed we sing a few hyms, write in our journals, and lately we have been writing some pretty awesome poems haha. My companion says i dont have to skills for writing poems, his says its because i try and make up words and try to make words ryhm haha.

Being a District Leader has been pretty fun. I just have to make sure everyone is doing what theyre suppose to and to make sure we are focused. Everyday i make sure that we get started with a little devotonal. On sundays i have a meeting with our whole zone and our branch pres and we talk about how our districts are doing, things we are having a good time with and things that we are struggling with. So far our district has had almost no problems at all. We are all focused and determind to learn all we can in the MTC so that when we get out into the field we are all ready.


It still rains everyday here. Its kinda awesome cause it makes everything cool off. Still getting gainz if you were wondering haha. The food here hasnt gotten any better but we have figured out how to stay safe with what we eat. Last night was pizza night and boy were we excited for that! I had a ton of pizza and i wish i didnt cause i didnt feel very good but after a few hours i was fine. One of my companions on the other hand got really sick last night and basicly slept in the bathroom all night cause he had to be by the tolet. This morning he was still super sick so i decided to get a few more elders from my district and we gave him a blessing. We took him to the doctors earlier today and the doctor said that theres a stomach flu going around and that this morning alone he has met with 14 patients because of it. Hope my companion will get better soon! I also got a haircut today, it was kinda sad to say goodbye to my hair. Other than that nothing else is happening. 

Everything is going so great, I feel so great and comfortable here. I have my hard days but all i know is there needs to be opposition in all things and i can find strength from the spirit;)

Love you all, miss ya tons! Hope all continues to go well!
Love Elder Marz

 Oh and i dont know if you know about the missionary mail. Its like you type a letter and they print it off here and give it to me. could you send me a list of fam and friends bdays ...Oh and send me pictures, I want some physical pictures of the fam, friends, the dog's my fish, ...  (pretty please!) etc...
Thank you, Love you lots


!

EMAIL: WEEK 3 MTC - Short and Sweet


This week has been good. Nothing too exciting has happend. Just learning a lot and speaking a lot. Today we get to go back to the temple! We tried to be able to write later in the day but we dont get back from the temple until 6ish. Got a package of donuts and beef jerky and a package of drinks, Lets just say that I have a spot in my closet of all my goodies haha. Sorry for the short email, there's just not alot that happend this week. I've been hard at work and learning more and more everyday. Its crazy, I only have a few more weeks and then im out and on my way to Jersey! I'll keep you guys posted!

Love you lots!
Elder Marz

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Praying With Your Feet"

From the New Jersey Morristown Mission Blog - This is a must read for incoming missionaries. I read it today as part of my Sunday study... SOOO good I needed to share. 



"Please come to understand this doctrine 
and share it with the Jerseyites."


“On Praying With Your Feet”
Remarks of President Russell Hancock Menlo Park, California Stake Presidency
to the Valparaiso Ward Elders Quorum May 6, 2012
[A transcript of unprepared remarks prepared by Geoff Nelson]  

I’m grateful for this invitation to speak to your quorum.


My objective today is to tell you about my faith journey and offer up some observations and possible conclusions. I’m going to speak the only way I know how: honestly and with complete candor. It means making myself vulnerable in front of group I don’t know well (yet), but we think you have a right to know your new stake presidency. If you sustain us as your leaders then it seems you have a right to know exactly what it is you are sustaining.


So here, for what it’s worth, is my story.


But allow me to preface all of it with this observation: it would appear there are two types of Mormons, or at least two paths to conversion. 


One set of members base their testimony on some sort of sensory encounter which they describe as a burning in the bosom, a witness of the spirit, or some sort of infallible encounter with the Holy Ghost. They might hear a voice, or have a tingling sensation, or find themselves in tears, or some other such sensory experience. Many, many people that I trust and admire describe their witness in these terms, and I believe them. Now, if I’m being completely truthful I will also tell you there are others who speak of this, and I wonder if they are confusing the Holy Ghost with something else, something emotional or intentional or otherwise overwrought. But I have decided never to judge, to accept their claims at face value, and I do not doubt the possibility of such experiences.


The scriptures of course describe this. The most famous instance of it is the promise in the Book of Moroni where we’re told to test the gospel and seek a manifestation of the spirit. We’re also taught that the manifestation of the spirit will be the Holy Ghost revealing truth to us.


So that is one way of ascertaining truth.


Now here comes the true confession: I’ve never had it. It has never come to me. That is not how I’ve obtained my conviction. 

Now, for most of my life, especially while praying, this shortcoming of mine is something that led to the sense that I was alone, and led me to feel like I was a second class Mormon—second rate because I couldn’t accomplish this sensory, infallible encounter with the Holy Ghost. I thought that there was something wrong with me.


It came to a head for me when I was in high school and began asking the big question that looms over the life of any young Mormon male: am I going to serve a mission? And by the way, I was born in the church, born of goodly parents, and raised to have faith. Not only that, I loved the church—loved everything about it! So as that crucial milestone came in my life where I had to decide whether to go on a mission, I wanted more than anything to serve! I wanted to do this, and yet when I was honest with myself I had to confess I didn’t actually know for myself that the Church was true. I was following my parents’ religion and way of life, and living on the borrowed testimony of family, friends, and ward members.


Here is the next confession that I need to make: I did something I’m not proud of. I was immature then, but now in my maturity I am ashamed to tell you I began to speak more loudly and in a voice that was more shrill. I would actually testify to a truth I didn’t possess. I would stand up in church meetings and say things I had no right to say, that I didn’t yet know for my own self. I was actually drawn to the pulpit, eager to say these things, anxious to please the community. And I thought that in the act of saying them— and saying them more loudly—the testimony would come.

So there’s another confession for you.

Well, my public speaking notwithstanding, I did what Moroni challenged me to do. I think I was quite sincere. I spent significant time on my knees and approached my Heavenly Father in that prescribed way, asking for a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. And brethren, it didn’t come, I knew that if I was being honest with myself I had to admit I wasn’t feeling any palpable sense of the Holy Spirit. I got up off my knees feeling foolish, defeated, and distressed.


So what am I to do?


Well brethren, here’s the next confession: I submitted missionary papers, received a call to Japan, and departed for the field. You could say I caved, that this was a form of dishonesty. I’m inclined to look back on it more charitably. I wanted to serve. I think my motivation was pure, though I should also tell you I felt like a mission was an important rite of passage. I certainly felt the pressure young men feel to serve missions, and understood the opportunities I would be foreclosing if I didn’t.


I arrived in Japan, where it started to trouble me I was saying things to investigators I thought were true—hoped were true—but didn’t know were true. So I thought it was crucial to continue this effort to obtain a personal witness, the kind Moroni describes, but because I was ashamed to be in this position I took my efforts underground. I would wait for my companion to fall asleep every night, and when I heard his heavy rhythmic breathing I would get up again and spend the night trying to induce this thing.

Well brethren, it didn’t happen. That manifestation promised by scripture and witnessed by others positively eluded me.


After some months of this it reached a crisis point for me. Now despondent, I felt like if I was going to have integrity then I should confess these things to my leadership, to my mission president, and also to my parents. So I actually wrote a letter home to my parents confessing and lamenting my inability to cultivate a personal relationship with divinity.


Instantly, back comes a letter from my mother. You have to know Mom to fully appreciate this, but this is a woman who doesn’t suffer fools. She can be very stern. So back comes her letter, which says “enough of this nonsense! This is pure foolishness— stop this at once! Stop praying with your knees, start praying with your feet instead.”


Brethren, that letter came as revelation to me. What sweet relief it brought! It was complete and total liberation. I took her advice and decided “I’m going to stop doing this thing. I’m going to stop holding a gun to the Lord’s head and insisting on a sign. I’m just going to live my life as if the gospel is true.”


So you must understand: upon reading that letter, I made a wager. I decided to bet my entire life that the gospel was true. From that point forward, that is what I have done and what I continue to do. I have wagered my entire life.


Now here’s the kicker: the kicker is that in the course of serving my family and fulfilling priesthood duty, knowledge does in fact come. In the years since my mission, the witness I sought has arrived, completely unbidden, and never once on cue. For me it has come in ways I can barely describe, and never on command, and I’m not even sure that they’re sensory or palpable. But I can tell you that I have somehow crossed a threshold into a very serious area, one I would describe as akin to knowledge, to the point where I would lay everything I am on the altar in its defense. Brethren, When I speak with conviction about the gospel it’s not merely with hope and with faith but with something that is approaching knowledge. That I can tell you. But it’s never come on my terms and never come to me on my timetable.


Now here’s what’s so striking: every time I have shared this experience I have been assailed by people who say “me too!” “That’s my experience too!” So I’m starting to
draw conclusions, that there really do seem to be two sets of Latter-day Saints: people for whom these are experiences are forthcoming, and people for whom they are not. It’s a curious outcome, but there it is. I think we can observe it empirically throughout the church.

Now, there is a passage in the Doctrine & Covenants that speaks to this, and for some reason it doesn’t get the press it deserves, certainly not as much press as Moroni’s promise. It’s section 46, verses 11-14, and it says:

For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts ... To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ... to others it is given to believe on their words.

That’s me, okay? I think it is significant that believing on the words of another is described as a spiritual gift—a legitimate spiritual gift in and of itself, one that we might even seek after. This is me. And I don’t think that makes me less of a Latter-day Saint, or less of a disciple.


Furthermore, I encountered the writings and the talks given by a number of general authorities in the church that speak directly to this, and if only I could have digested them at the time of my mission! It would have saved me so much consternation, so self- doubt, and recrimination!


I want to share some of these with you. First, I want to share with you the story of President David O. McKay, which I had never heard! But he stood up in the 1968 General Conference and told a story that turns out to be just like mine. I had never heard this from a church leader. This is President McKay:

I am going to tell you what happened to me as a boy upon the hillside near my home in Huntsville. I was yearning, just as you boys are yearning, to know that the vision given to the Prophet Joseph Smith was true, and that this Church was really founded by revelation, as he claimed. I thought that the only way a person could get to know the truth was by having a revelation or experiencing some miraculous event ... So one day I was hunting cattle. While climbing a steep hill, I stopped to let my horse rest, and there, once again, an intense desire came over me to receive a manifestation of the truth of the restored gospel. I dismounted, threw my reins over my horse's head, and there, under a bush, I prayed that God would declare to me the truth of his revelation to Joseph Smith. I am sure that I prayed fervently and sincerely and with as much faith as a young boy could muster.
At the conclusion of the prayer, I arose from my knees, threw the reins over my faithful pony's head, and got into the saddle. As I started along the trail again, I remember saying to myself: "No spiritual manifestation has come to me. If I am true to myself, I must say I am just the same boy that I was before I prayed." I prayed again when I crossed Spring Creek, near Huntsville, and again in the evening to milk our cows.
The Lord did not see fit to give me an answer on that occasion, it wasn’t until I had been appointed president of the Scottish Mission, that the spiritual manifestation for which I had prayed as a boy came. And it simply came as a natural sequence to the performance of duty. [David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1968, pp. 84-87]

So that is President McKay. That’s interesting, right? And I want to read to you this from Elder Dallin Oaks, which is also interesting:

I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom “burn within them.” What does a “burning in the bosom” mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, then I have never had a burning in the bosom. [“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, March 1997]

That was Elder Oaks. Interesting, right? Now here’s Elder Packer:

Some have been misled by expecting revelations too frequently. I have learned that strong, impressive spiritual experiences do not come to us very frequently. Revelations from God— the teachings and directions of the Spirit—are not constant. We believe in continuing revelation, not continuous revelation. We are often left to work out problems without the dictation or specific direction of the Spirit. That is part of the experience we must have in mortality. The people I have found most confused in this Church are those who seek personal revelations on everything. [Boyd K. Packer, That All Might Be Edified (1982), page 337.

Let me read you another one, this from Elder McConkie:

Some people postpone acknowledging their testimony until they have experienced a miraculous event. They fail to realize that with most people—especially those raised in the Church—gaining a testimony is not an event but a process. Being born again is a gradual thing, except in a few isolated instances that are so miraculous that they get written up in the scriptures. As far as the generality of the members of the Church are concerned, conversion is a process; and it goes step by step, degree by degree, level by level, from a lower state to a higher , from grace to grace, until the time that the individual is wholly turned to the cause of righteousness. [Bruce R. McConkie, “Be Ye Converted” (address given at the BYU First Stake Quarterly Conference, 11 February 1968), page 12.]

Brethren, that is me! It describes my experience precisely!


So I wanted to share all of this, for what it’s worth.


But there’s something else I want to tell you, something very important. I want to point
out that the Book of Mormon actually proposes two different models for obtaining faith and testimony.

This is so important! Somehow we forget this. 


The one model we’ve covered already and everybody knows it because it gets all the press, and that model is laid out in Moroni 10, verse 4: ask and have a witness be delivered unto you. That’s a legitimate model; it’s scriptural, I believe it is possible, and that it can take place exactly as described.


And yet there’s another model laid out very clearly in the same book, which we must also take as scripture and therefore literal and therefore equally valid. This model or paradigm describes an entirely different path to faith and testimony and it is found in Alma 32, where the gospel is likened unto a seed. It uses an agricultural analogy, one that really resonates with me. It describes my own life experience.


According to this model we’re not asked to have this dramatic confrontation with Deity, to seek out something bordering on mystical and to have it delivered on command. Instead, we’re asked to do something altogether different, which is to cultivate a seed, to nurture it through our actions. It’s a horticultural metaphor, where a testimony is a thing to be carefully planted, cultivated, watered, grown over a period of time, and thereupon tested.


And what do you test? You test the fruits, right? To me the fruits of the gospel are delicious. They pass my taste test.


Now, I find it a curiosity why our missionaries don’t actually lead with that. I would lead with that if I had it to do over again! This is what I would be asking my investigators to do. I would merely say “plant this seed I am giving you. Test it. You might have to try it over a lifetime, but take a look at this seed and then make your own decision on the merits, whether it is good or not.” That has been my experience. To me the fruits are so beautiful and so good that I’ve been willing to bet my entire life upon it.


So brethren, there’s my story, and we your stake presidency feel that you have a right to know us in this way. You have a right to understand our spiritual journeys, how we come by the things that we say. And I will make you a promise right here, that you will never hear me say anything over the pulpit or in a church setting that is beyond my ability to know. If you listen carefully you will hear me choosing words like “believe” as in “I believe this is true” or “I trust this is true” or “I have accumulated enough evidence to persuade me this is the better path.” I’ll be using words very carefully.


Now having shared my story, I would like to make five observations for all of us here in the Menlo Park Stake, each on our own faith journeys. Will you indulge me in these five observations?


Here they are;
First, and I want to say this very clearly: if you happen to be somebody who wonders; if you happen to be somebody who is experiencing doubt about the church or about the gospel or any of the great existential questions; to you we say: this is your home! You belong here with us, and you are badly wanted. Your stake presidency wants a community of saints who are probing, who are discovering, who are testing, and who are making a serious and systematic investigation. We’re not trying to cultivate a stake of passive believers mouthing platitudes. We are trying to cultivate active believers and genuine seekers. That is the kind of stake that we seek to lead. If you are finding doubts or asking questions, this is a safe and appropriate place to do that. And I can say that because my own Hosannas have passed through the crucible of doubt.

The scriptures make it perfectly clear there is a place for doubt and for skepticism and that this is part of the journey. Remember in the book of Mark when the man seizes upon the Savior and says “Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief,” and how the Savior looked especially kindly upon him. Count me as one of those.


My second observation is to issue a challenge to those who are feeling either smug or complacent in the faith. We want to root this out. Forgive me, but I think there are a few too many Mormons who have decided that because the church is true, we therefore have all the answers to every question, all of the theological questions that have plagued scholars and theologians for centuries. Disciples have been breaking their heads open over these questions for centuries, but because we have the gospel, we know every answer and there’s nothing left for us to do but to be perfunctory Mormons, mouthing the words we learned in primary. In my view, nobody is excused from the work of probing and questioning. All of us have a duty to examine the great questions our theology poses. I fear too many of us confuse faith with depth. This we must never do. An unexamined faith is not worth having.


Not only that, there is so much truth that is yet to be revealed! Remember we believe in continuing revelation. Will it come without any effort on our part as a Church?


This leads to the third observation I would like to make: the church is a dynamic organization. By dynamic I mean it changes. The gospel is timeless but the Church is not. I have lived long enough to witness the Church make many great and significant changes in my lifetime—things pertaining to doctrine, or to our policies and practices. This includes things about women, about priesthood, about the garments we wear, and more. So this is significant. We should all understand that the Church is a dynamic thing, and one that will grow and change and develop as circumstances warrant, and we will witness it in our lifetimes.


My fourth observation is to suggest we have a role to play in that evolution. We should be agents in helping discover truth, agents in helping the church grow and increase and improve as an institution. Now we make distinctions of course between the gospel and the church right? There was a marvelous talk in this past conference about that, the difference between the church and the gospel. I urge you to read that and apply it to our stake as well. Over the 9 years of our stake presidency I’m sure you’ll see many things come and go, and important changes made. We want you to be enlisted in the change. We want you to feel like you are agents in this, vital stakeholders. We want you to be innovative with us, and entrepreneurial and creative. We want you to bring your best thinking and we want you to help us.

Here’s the last observation I would like to make: it is an invitation to the members of
our stake. We hope that you’ll pray with your knees and also pray with your feet. We of course counsel you to pray fervently upon your knees. We seek those prayers, join with you in those prayers, and we rejoice in those prayers. But we also envision a stake full
of people who are caught up in the work. It’s a work of compassion. It’s a work of saving, one person at a time. It’s a work of toil and sweat in this place where we’re trying to build a portion of the kingdom. And it’s our experience (it’s certainly my experience) that in the act of service, in the act of fulfilling our duty, this is where the greater knowledge comes, the greater light and knowledge. So we want encourage that spirit of active learning among all of us.


It is a privilege speaking to you in this way, and I thank you for looking on me and my confessions with acceptance. I look forward to dialogue on these subjects, but for now I will close my remarks, invoking the sacred name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 2 - MTC, District Leader & Costco Pizza


WEEK 2   August 10th 2016
(unedited:)



Hey everyone!

Lots and lots have happended this week!
Sunday i got called to be the district leader for our district until we leave the MTC. I felt kinda overwhelmed by the calling but i know that God has a plan for me and i know he gave me certain gifts so i need to use them to help others. Monday was a sad day, one of our elders that we gave a blessing to last week went home... He was having a really hard time with being homesick. My companion and i offered to bring the lone elder into ours and make it a tres-companionship. Its been really hard for him, he struggles with severe depression and every other day me and my companion have to go wait for him during his doctors apt. I really hope that he will be ok. We all care and love him and only want the best. Tuesday was packed full of awesome stuff. WE HAD A PIZZA NIGHT! WHAT WHAT!!!! Haha it was awesome and even better....It was Costco Pizza! I didnt even know that they had a costco down here! Oh and side not i recived a awesome package with like a million packages of Oreos... I guess you could say that the rest of my district was super jelly. For the tuesday night devotional we got to see a live broadcast from Provo and Neil L. Anderson spoke. It was awesome! He talked about how missions arent complicated things but they can be hard and with the lords help anything is possible. Lots of things were said that just strenghthed my faith and testimony. Today we had the privilige of going to the temple and doing a endowment session. WOW.... Quite an experience. we all had to wear headphones for the translation. Youd be supprised how much longer it takes in spanish than in english! Temples are so incredible! The spirit was so strong! I love all you so much! thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, they help me so much!

P.S. im trying to type on a spanish keyboard so sorry for the broken writing haha


With lots of love!
Elder Marz

yes put more water in the fish tank. 

If you can send this out but before can you check the spelling and stuff like that. i have one hour to type and my fat fingers cant type that fast, also i couldnt care less about caps lock aha. 

love you Lots!!! Send me some pictures!




Monday, August 8, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 1 MTC

WEEK 1   August 3rd 2016

Hey Family!
As you guys know I made it to the MTC safe and sound! This week has been amazing! Cant believe its been over a week now! The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days haha. My companion is super fun, his name is Elder Miller. He's from Vernal, Utah. We are always giving eachother funny mexican nicknames. When we got here on last tuesday the language hit all the new elders like a brick wall. No one here at the MTC speacks very good english at all. We all thought the food was so good but then after a couple of days we figured out why all the other elders and sisters were sticking to nuteala on toast haha. The cooks here dont really know how to cook anything other than mexican food so this morning we had fajita chicken and bell peppers for breakfast. It rains here every. single. day. at three on the spot. The language is coming along pretty nicely, its really hard to speak fluently but i can have a conversation, by the second day we were praying in spanish! The fist couple of nights were really hard to sleep through cause all we hear is gunshots and fireworks and sirens. I also didnt sleep well cause its a new bed and my feet hang off the bed so i just put them through the little square that the latter for the bunkbed. We get active time every day. On Friday we got our first active time so me and my companion went and found the weights, tyler would have been proud of me haha. My short little companion wasnt so exited for it but his was more that happy to come with me and get gainz. Sunday was interesting. Each of us have to prepare a five min talk in sanish every week cause the talks for sacrament are picked by random. Our district has had the hardest time with spanish because we dont have any latinos or sisters, just elders. Last night was a super spiritual experience.Three elders in our district have been having a hard time with feeling comfort and having a hard time with homesickness so we as a district came together in one room and gave blessings to them. It was so neat. The whole room just felt like it lit up. 12 elders standing in a circle, all holding the priesthood and giving a blessing to three people that we love and care for. It was quite a testimony biulding experience.
Im running out of time but I thought id let all of you know that im ding great and that i feel so comforted knowing that what im doing is what im suppose to be doing. Love you all! thanks for all your love!
P.S thanks for the package. My companion and the other elders in my room had a little fiesta.
Love you lots!
Elder Marz

Here are some pictures
Our Elder Marz and his MTC companion Elder Miller
At the SLC Airport. All heading to the Mexico MTC :)
Elder Marz (center) and his district (all elders). 

EMAIL: DAY 1 - Arrived at the MTC

EMAIL July 26th 2016

Hey I´ve made it to the MTC save and sound! the young men I traveled with are awesome! My companions name is Elder Miller hes super cool. My P day is Wednesday but I dont have one this week but next week I will.
Your Missionary's mailing address is:
[Elder Marz]
[05/09/2016] [5-A]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
Mexico

Leaving for the MTC

The last time he'd do up his tie in his room for next 2 years. 
Our last hug.. for a while... Heart bursting. 








watching our sweet missionary.... can't take our eyes away. 


Dad had the privilege of being on the same flight with Evan to the SLC airport where he would then connect on to NY for work and Evan would go on his way to his connecting gate to Mexico City along side other missionaries. 

The last view of our sweet boy... walking away to become a man, dedicated and committed to serving the Lord. .
He didn't look back :)XO























...becoming a missionary...


This night Evan became a missionary. for real. Before his setting apart, we had Olive Garden take out and had a lovely, happy,  but heavy but happy hearts over dinner together. From this time on... he's in the Lords hands.



Evan and his BFF Tyler!













  



This was our last Sunday meal before Even was set apart (the next evening)


Farewell Sunday





Evan encircled in love by his entire family :)