Tuesday, October 25, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 13 - "New" District Meeting and Hibachi

WRITTEN 10/24/16

 Monday was our pday and we went to this place Hibachi for lunch and it was like a all you can eat (which are always the best restaurants!) Chinese food. The cool thing was they would even cook it in front of you and it was all you can eat haha, it was super good!

 Findlay is on the left and Elder Meek is on the right, he's our new district leader. Such a nice, smart, humble guy, I'm going to learn a lot from him.

Other than that we just went to the church, played some ball and wrote some emails. Later that night the sunset was super pretty, it reminded me of some of the sunsets we have in st George.

Tuesday was a pretty productive day. We met with a lot of less actives and some investigators as well. Nothing to special. Oh Tuesday is when all the new missionaries came in so that's something cool.

Wednesday we had our "new" district meeting. We didn't get any brand spanking new missionaries but we did get new faces in the zone so that been fun.

Thursday we had service and after we all piled in the car for to go to lunch haha it was pretty interesting 😂.

Later we had a team up with out ward mission leader. Cool kid. Just got back from a mission in Guatemala. He's special haha kinda socially awkward but he's so awesome😂

Friday we had weekly planing which was totally awesome because we have four more investigators this week to plan for! We have two on date for November so that's awesome! 

Saturday was the most anticipated day this week! We were asked to participate in the Noche de espanedad (night of nationalities). So everyone in the ward got together with others from their same country and they made food and brought other things that were unique to them so Elder Jordan and I did one too. We did a American table with hotdogs, corn dogs, and soda. Haha it was a lot of fun. We dressed up for it and everyone wanted to take pictures with us😂 cowboy hats and beards😂

We had 2 of our investigators come to I guess you could say that was good.

Sunday was awesome as it always is. We went around to a bunch of people's houses and actually got to meet them finally. And we got to talk to bishop about our investigators and especially one of them that is on date. Bishop is super nice and just want to help.
Later Sunday night we went to one of our new investigators house to teach them English. It's kinda interesting teaching English just after having to learn Spanish. I'm still learning more and more and it's challenging but also really rewarding as well.

Well this was how my week went. Been trying to get over a dang cold for the past few days but other than that I'm doing great. Loving the area, it's so diverse. 
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, love you guys!

Love,Elder Marz

EMAIL: WEEK 12 - Locked and Loaded:) but staying put until next transfer

WRITTEN 10/17/16

Monday as you all know was my pday and we all went to the church and emailed and played some ball and all that fun stuff. Later that night all of our appointments went through and so we decided to go by the bishops house to see if we could talk with him about the members and some members that he want us to specifically work with. It went really good and his wife made this awesome dish. She called it "Mexican pizza" it's something super easy but super good so now me and my companion are eating it more at our apartment. It had egg, ham (but you can use any type of meat), spinach, cheese, and salsa. She just kinda put all those together and it was way good.

Tuesday I got up and found this super creepy looking bug and my companion was in the shower and I had no idea what it was. It looks like a dang alien! I was getting ready for the day and it flew across the floor but all I saw was a blur? Anyways super freaky! Thought I was going to flip! And the fact that I hate spiders, I think this topped that!

Tuesday was also our last District meeting this transfer. It was way good we had some trainings and some role plays and we got to learn some really good finding strategies to use everyday. After the meeting we had what's called the "hot seat" it were the missionaries that are leaving next week share some experiences from their missions. Spiritual experiences, funny experiences, scary experiences thief testimonies and so on. It was pretty cool to see how the mission has changed these missionaries and that it's crazy to see how fast the time goes! Just thinking that they'll be with their family next week is a crazy thing to think about!
 (Big group photo is our zone and the smaller one is of our district. Two elders are leaving next week.)
Our wonderful senior couple provided lunch for us, they were sweet pork tacos so yeah they were good!

After all that it was exchange time! I went up to the heights area and switched places with my district leader for a day. I was with his companion Elder Merritt. Super cool guy. Been here in jersey just barely longer than me, he left home on the 6th of July. He's English speaking so he was only in the provo MTC for 3 weeks but cool fact, we'll go home the same time! (Because I spent a full six weeks/transfer in the MTC. Spanish elders have one less transfer in the field then the English elders)

The exchange was super awesome. I learned lots of stuff from elder Merritt. We talked to a lot of people. We were walking and contacting people on the streets and we walked past this one lady and felt like we needed to talk to her so walked back and started to talk to her and it turns out that she loves doing family history work! It's so cool to find people that aren't of our faith but still do family history. So she's meeting up with the missionaries and the family history consultant on Thursday and she's going to be taught more about the church. So crazy how small a feeling can be but how it is so important to follow those feelings or promptings, when we do that we are showing God that we are listening and that we trust him.

Wednesday we finished up our exchange by finding people to talk to. We went to the water front and it was so cool to see across the river.
The architecture around here is really interesting!

Later on Thursday we met up with the English elders and we did a table stand by a bus terminal for like an hour and we passed out 7 Books of Mormon and gonna pass by some others later this week.
Thursday was set aside to do a lot of finding. We went around and knocked on a lot of the inactive members and tried to figure out who has moved or no longer live at the address we have. We also did service at the Salvation Army. That's pretty much it for Thursday. 
Friday we were pretty much inside all day. We had studies till 12 (1 hour for personal study, 1 for companion study, 1 for 12 week training, and 1 for language) and then we had weekly planing and TAC. Weekly planing takes forever but it's really nice to plan out the next week and set goals for those investigators who are progressing and make plans to help them further their faith. And we make plans to help those investigators who have a baptismal date (right now we have two😊). And TAC is something we do at the end of the transfer and we deep clean our apartment; sweeping, moping, clean the kitchen, etc.... We took one of our investigators who has a baptismal date out with us proselyting, his name is Isael. He's 14 and super cool, just moved out of his moms house in Elizabeth into his dads house here in jersey city. He was taught everything before by the missionaries but had to move out because of some family things. Super awesome testimony, told us that he wanted to be baptized on our fist discussion with him earlier this week so we put him on date.
Saturday we met with another investigator that's on date, her name is Tomasina. She's a mother of a member in our ward. Super sweet lady, old, and talks a lot! She is super interested but has some health problems that can slow things down. We're thinking of pushing her date farther just so we can really go slow and simple, so we can make sure she really understands. She has a past with getting baptized in lots of other churches just to say that she's been baptized so me and my companion are gonna make sure she's gonna stick with this. She's came to church like four times and loves learn more. So it's pretty exciting.

Sunday church started at 9 and it was super good. We are seeing lots more people at church and we had two investigators at church so that was awesome. My companion and I taught gospel principles for the second hour. We taught about talents and why talents are important. We all talked about our talents and how we can bless others around us when we use our talents. I think it's so cool that God gives each and every one of us specific talents. He gives us opportunities, trials, and times to try our faith in order to help us develop and use those talents to help those around us. After church we went up to the roof just to look over the skyline and take a few pictures, jersey city is so cool I hope I stay here for a while.

Oh yeah and we saw this lambo in like a pretty rundown part of town so that was kinda weird but it's a sick car so I had to take a pic.
Later on Sunday we stoped by a member in the hospital whose been inactive for years and years, her husband is bishops second counselor. She had a operation done and had to stay for a few days. We went over on Thursday to give her a blessing just to help with the recovery. She said with all the help of the members she's thinking about coming to church again so that's good, hope she starts coming again.

We came back to the house for some studies for about 40 min. We had to leave for a appointment that was like a 20 min drive but our car battery was out! So we walked a good 4 miles to our appointment just to find out he juked but luckily our other appointment was close so that was good and we were getting fed!
We passed by this pretty cool painting, they're all over the place!

Well that's what my week looked like! I'm having loads of fun and it just keeps getting better and better. My Spanish is getting pretty good my companion tells me. I can understand almost everything that people say but saying things I need practice with. I'm just taking it day by day and learning more and more. I know that you can't learn something all at once so I'm patient with it and just use in more and more.
Love you all! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for my companion and I. They've helped us this week find more people to teach! Thank you!

Locked and loaded and ready to go for transfer two!

Monday, October 10, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 11 - Faith, Food and Fun (and more food:)

WRITTEN 10/10/16

 On Monday we went to the park and we played football all day. It was ok. I don't like football that much so I just kinda played a little and then watched a little. We had two zones there and a lot of people showed up so it was fun to see them all. The park is super nice! Way big and there's even a pond! It made me want to go fishing! I kept on looking and pointing out fish in the water and my companion thought there was something wrong with me😂

Tuesday we had zone meeting which was in Englewood (like 40min away) and it was awesome. President Taggart and sister Taggart were there and they gave us some awesome trainings and things to practice. The group that came with me in the beginning of September was a lucky group because we had all the big meetings and trainings in this transfer (our first) sister Taggart said this was the first time she's ever seen this before. She said that that we are going to be the best missionaries that she's ever seen because we are going to have these trainings right off the bat. We've had meeting after meeting every week and they are all like a hour away but now that we are done with big meetings for a while (zone meeting is in January) we can really get to work!

Wednesday we got up and went to this philipino bakery around the corner and got some donuts for comp study, let's just say they were way good! Remember K.C. Donuts? I think they were philipino because this place is super similar.

We also did a table stand, It was pretty cool. When we find somewhere where there's lots of foot traffic we get a lot of people that stop by and see what we are all about. And we also get those peoples info that want to know more so we can stop by one day and tell them more about how awesome our church is and how it's different than all the rest. On our way home we saw this super cool suburban haha. I had to get a video of it.

There is also tons of really cool art around jersey city, on the buildings and such.

Thursday we had service at the Salvation Army and we had weekly planing which takes anywhere from 3-4 hours to do so that was most our day. We met with one of our investigators that night and she has two children that were baptized like 7 years ago and she's been having the missionary lessons forever. We've been trying to figure out why she wast baptized, she said she knew all of it was true but she wants to be baptized in the river Jordan😬 so that's been kind of a curveball but we are trying to teach her that her salvation can't wait. We told her that if she would die tomorrow she wouldn't be able to be with her two children because she hasn't been baptized, sooo we asked her to think of a date to be baptized so we are waiting.

Friday we had to go to the doctor to get some blood work done for my companion and that didn't take very long but then we went to do some service at the Hoboken homeless shelter. We prepare food and serve the homeless for lunch. It's pretty fun but sometimes it's really hard to see those people who take advantage of these opportunities. People that can provide for themselves but yet they still depend on the shelter for everything else. But I'm still willing to serve even when it's hard. Like it says in the scriptures "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

After service we (and the other elders that were there with us. Elder Garfield and Elder Merritt.) went to Jonny rockets for lunch. We spoiled ourselves with some big juicy burgers haha!
Later that day we met with a recent convert and she's Peruvian. Super cool lady, talks a lot! She got us two dominos pizzaz. Anyways you know what happened to those. We've been trying to get her to do family history but she's afraid that if she asks her extended family for names that they'll all get offended and stingy. All of her extended fam is catholic and they don't really like her decision to be baptized into the Mormon church. Sooo we are gonna see if she'll go to the temple to do proxy baptisms.

(FYI. Family history for Hispanics is nearly impossible because they rarely use there really name and they have like four last names and every once and a while they'll just decide to drop on of the names. Or the rest of the family only knows them by a nickname and what not. So yeah it's hard)

Right after that we went to a Dominican lady's apartment, her name is Brania. She's a member but just inactive. We see her once a week. She always makes us SO MUCH FOOD! And it's really good food and she usually makes us eat all of it, but we were so full from the pizza before that she just packed it up and sent us home with it. So that's what we've been eating for leftovers haha.

Saturday we helped a member move out of an apartment. It's only her and her son (came back early from a mission in Guatemala), and the father was deported about 4 years ago so it's kind of a tough situation. She's trying to find more work but hasn't found any luck yet:/
We also went knocking some apartments. It's not too efficient. It's kinda hard because all the Hispanics are scattered, there isn't one area where they live so we are trying to find some more. Some of the apartments are so small! The ceilings short and the doors are tiny!
Man this week I've really felt how blessed I am to have such an amazing family and friends back home in st George. Here there could be four families to a single apartment (specifically Hispanics are known for this) which is crazy! So glad that back home my dad works hard to provide for every need of the family. He's setting a good example to me. I want to work hard so that one day I can provide enough for my family to have a house and not have to cram in a apartment.
It also rained all day. It's starting to look so pretty around here! All the leaves are falling and changing colors. It's starting to get chilly! It's been it the low 60s this past week and pretty windy.

Sunday was awesome. We went to church but during church there were two guys who just walked if from off the street. They stayed for sacrament and then after we talked to them a little bit and gave them a Book of Mormon and got their info so we can stop by so that's awesome. They just want change in their lives and they felt something really good during sacrament meeting so hopefully they come again.

Today I made some French toast, it was bomb!

And then we went shopping at Walmart and went to sams club for lunch and now we are at the chapel just hangin out. There was this cool truck at sams club, I had to take a picture of it.

Well I'm doing great! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! Love you guys!

Monday, October 3, 2016

EMAIL: WEEK 10 - District Meeting & Human Hungry Hippos

Well this week was full of lots of stuff!
Monday was pday as usual and we went shopping, went to Sam's club for lunch and then went to go play basketball at the church for the rest of the day.

Tuesday was way fun! We had our last district meeting of this transfer (which is weird because we would usually have one every week for six weeks but the one tomorrow is zone conference so multiple zones meet together). It was really good, we did a bunch of trainings and role plays to help us with the work. We also talked about love, love like Christ's. We need to have love for every person no matter what they look like, who they are, or how the treat us, we need to love everyone. Our senior missionaries set up this activity for the whole zone (the whole zone has district meetings on the same day, in the same building, but in different rooms) to do after the meetings. We played human-sized hungry hippos 😂

It got crazy!
We also went to go help a member move a Piano into his new apartment. It sucked. The apartment he was moving out of was the first apartment on the first floor but the one he was moving into was up a flight of stairs (which was about the width of my shoulders). Anyways we couldn't get it up the stairs but I did manage to wreck my arms😂

Wednesday we went up to Morristown for our 3 week "see how we are doing" meeting and it was good but long. It's so pretty up there, so many trees and nature. It reminds me of st George.
 President Taggart and Sister Taggart talked about how to manage stress for all the new missionaries. I got to see some of my buddies from the MTC, we talked about how different our areas were and such. It sounds like elder _____ is still having a pretty hard time but we talked about it and hope it will start to turn around.

We had this awesome lunch and then after we stopped by the mission office to get a couple Arabic Book of Mormons for some other elders. While I was there I got my mail! I got Wallys painting! I could just see him on the sitting around the kitchen table painting that😂I got a package from Scott, Holly and the kids and Mishawn:) Now I have SO MUCH FOOD! haha both of the packages were packed full of food! Oh and the decorating was really good!

Package from loved ones
Wednesday night we had a dinner appointment with this super awesome family! It's a part member family. The Dad/boyfriend is not a member. He has the greatest testimony though and knows the gospel is true, he comes to church every Sunday! He just can't baptized yet because he's waiting on legal stuff (previously married and trying to get divorcement papers finished) so he can marry and be baptized. Kinda a hard situation to deal with but he is super sweet and the whole fam is super nice. They have 5 kids (all from her previous marriage) and they are just the sweetest. She always makes so much food for us and it is always sooo gooood!

Thursday was our service day! We got up in the morning and started our studies and we noticed there were a lot of fire trucks and ambulances passing by our apartment and we were wondering what happened. It turns out there was a pretty big train wreck in Hoboken which is pretty close to us (10min drive) but luckily no missionaries were on board so that's good. God watches over his children!

We went to pick up the elders (the elders in our area that don't have a car) for service after our studies and we went to Greenville! Greenville is probably the most hood area I've ever seen but then again I haven't been to a whole lot of places😂 We do our service at the Salvation Amy store.
After service we get sandwiches at a little corner store 

Friday we pretty much helped a member all day. All they had was a old mini van and we  just kept on taking trips back and forth with all there stuff. We prob took like 13-15 trips that day and then we had to go to some appointments. 

Saturday and Sunday were awesome! We did our studies in the morning and then went to the chapel for conference. Conference was sooo good! One of my favorite talks was by Elder Oaks, he talked about missionary work and it was so awesome! Every session was really good. We had an investigator come to both of the sessions on Sunday and we got to come by later that night and talk with them about how they felt about it. They really liked it!

Well another week has flown by and it keeps getting better and better! The hardest thing lately is finding people that are prepared to listen to our message. We've had to drop a lot of people this week and we are almost having to start from scratch but that's ok cause setbacks are necessary for growth and we are working harder and harder everyday.