Sunday, December 30, 2012

Frederico's Baptism!


Hey Everyone and Merry Christmas!
      It's been a fantastic week in Crenshaw! Transfers came and both Elder Reeves and I stayed together so things will be staying pretty much the same. But this week we've been able to see the fruits of our last transfer. After waiting for a month, Federico finally was able to be baptized yesterday. We were a little anxious for him this last week not knowing if he was going to bail out again, but he felt good after his baptismal interview on Wednesday. Come Saturday we went over to his apartment to remind him about bringing extra changes of clothes and towel, He said he was still hesitant, but would still prepare himself to do it. I wasn't sure that he would truly commit until we were at church in Gospel Principles class. The topic was on Exaltation which is quite a strong doctrine to understand, but in class he commented on that if we are true to live the gospel of Christ, we will one day stand side by side with God in glory. I was super glad for him. Also for the first time since I've been here we had another investigator at church Andrea. She was a little sick and could only stay for the first couple classes, she felt a little bored in the class and confused about the lesson, but she has trust in what we teach her so it should be fine as we explain more with her. We will be going over to her house tonight to eat tamales and Mexican food! I'm excited! Anyway back to the baptism, the service was super great as our ward mission leader and Federico's apartment manager Hermano Pioquinto performed the baptism. I was such a relief to see him in the water smiling afterwards, because I knew he felt like the right thing to do. During the baptism, a member of the stake presidency came to the baptism, but he didn't understand Spanish so I translated for him. I've never had to translate before and it’s super hard to listen, think and talk at the same time. I'm not used to all that multitasking. :) Anyway, Federico bore his testimony afterwards and I translated for him. I learned a lot about how the spirit works at that moment. I swear that it was one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard in my life. He's a very intellectual guy, and has had a hard him understanding faith, but as he bore testimony of Christ and how to endure to the end, I could help to notice the change he's made in his life. It was strange to translate for him and also notice that the same words I was translating spoke to the President as well, but it was more of a feeling confirming his words not mine. So that was the highlight of my week! Today the whole mission came up to the mission office to have a Christmas Musical Devotional. Next year I hope I can participate because in was super beautiful! President Baker gave an awesome testimony about the spirit of Christmas and it inspired me to continue sharing the spirit of Christ the next coming year. The Mission Is GREAT! I hope you all can learn how to give and receive gifts this Christmas and share the love of the season with everyone!

Os amo tanto y Feliz Navidad!!!

Elder Marrott   

Investigating Families


Hey Everyone!
       I hope everyone is enjoying the great winter because I'm not. Well it’s been raining quite a bit, and a little chilly but nothing I can't handle. Anyway it’s been quite an eventful last week of the transfer as we are starting to see more potential coming out from our area. The beginning of this week, Elder Reeves and I found a woman Ana who's from an indigenous pueblo in Mexico and likes to make adobe pots. I hope to teach her this coming week. We also found a family who had a lot questions on how the church views the Karan and the use of make-up. They seem fairly interested what we have to say especially after Elder Reeves bore to them a strong testimony about receiving answers to prayers. We also ran into a less active while trying to contact another less active. His name is Christian Ruiz and he was baptized 3 or 4 years ago near San Francisco. He moved down to Los Angeles and never got back to church, he thought our visit was inspired to get him back to church. He loves the missionaries as they helped him out in the past to stop using cocaine and to get back with his family. None of his family are members, so there's a lot of potential to get them all to investigate the church. Also this week we had the opportunity to go up to the Visitors Center twice this week with some of our investigators to see the Christmas lights. One of them was Cynthia. We've been working with her quite a bit. She lives with the Diaz Family who Joel, one of their sons (non-member) is her boyfriend. She has 2 crazy little kids who like to cause a ruckus everywhere they go. Cynthia has a strong desire to be baptized, but because she's not married to her boyfriend, who doesn't want to be married, it is kind of hard to do that. All of her family and his family want them to be married, but he lacks commitment. She's kind of hopeless about it all, but we are going to try to help keep their hopes up and promise her blessings for her determination to follow Christ. We all will be praying for her. But we all had fun up at the VC and I got to take some fun photos! We also went up yesterday with Fredrico who's going to be baptized (hopefully) this coming Sunday. He got to talking with some sister missionaries that helped reassure us that he has a testimony in all the things we've taught him. He's got good friendship with our ward mission leader Hermano Pioquinto because he is his apartment manager what luck! Well transfers is tomorrow, so we will see what happens. One of my favorite missionaries Elder Shumway is going home tomorrow. He was one of my best friends in the mission since the beginning! Time is going by so fast. I finally got through reading the Book of Mormon since I start the mission. I know I read really slowly, but I've come to love and understand it so much better than I have before. I've decided that Jacob is my favorite book and it is jam-packed full of great scripture and it powerfully expresses the desire for everyone to accept the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Chapters 4 5 and 6 are my favorite. I love in Jacob 6 when it say "O be wise; what more can I say? If we truly are wise, we would all accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that is how we will achieve the greatest happiness and joy in this life and the next! I wish you all a marvelous holiday season, and do you best to remember the importance of Christ's birth!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott        

More cool people taught and remember to be a "Member Missionary"


Hey Everybody,

Sorry that I didn't write on Monday, its temple day today so we are doing all our preparation day stuff like email. We came super early at 5 am for the temple session and it was still dark and they had the Christmas lights on. They are super cool and fun, I will be going up to the temple Christmas activity this Sunday, so hopefully I will have some pictures for you all soon. This week was little frustrating and slow mainly because of health and car problems. On Friday Elder Reeves got sick with the flu, so we had to turn in early a couple days to he could heal up, but he's doing ok now. Also we've had car problems all week and yesterday we spent the whole day at the shop so they could replace the battery. No fun at all. HOWEVER, the best part of this week is that we were able to recommit Fredrico to a baptismal date for the 23rd of December. We taught him a lesson about the Gifts of the Spirit that we can receive once we are baptized (look to Moroni 10) He really came to understand the blessing that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is going to help him to his conversion process and He no longer needs to wait to receive the ordinance of  baptism. We are looking forward to that. This week as well was the Christmas Party at the church where the English ward (Adams ward) Combined with our Spanish ward for a dinner on Saturday. There was a lot of people there, unfortunately not of our investigators could come. There was a lot of Food of every kind. Ham, Turkey, Tamales, Enchiladas, you name it was there. And of course Santa came so it could get better than that. Apparently the biggest news is going around here is the death of a popular Latin singer Jennie Rivera. She died in a plane crash in Mexico, and every Latino person we talk to is super upset. It's like Michael Jackson just died again. I had no clue who she was but now I know. One cool story that I heard this week was from a recent convert in our area named Jose Campos. He’s a super nice guy and he works in LA as one of those Brinks truck drivers that drives money to banks and business, etc... He told us stories about how people tried to mug him. One time he was standing in front of a bank when a guy ran at him with a sword. The guy tried to stab him but missed, then Jose punched the lights out of the guy, and he's a pretty big man! I thought that was really funny. We also heard something really interesting on Sunday in a meeting we had with the Stake High Counselor over Missionary Work. He heard with all the missionaries coming in soon that the quantity of all the missionaries will make about 50 more missions! But because that's not possible, every mission will be growing super-fast and more missionaries will be added to every mission. This probably means many areas that missionaries cover will be divided in half. That also means that amount of people that missionaries will teach will cut in half too. That's the super sad thing. Many new missionaries come into the mission with hopes to teach like crazy, but it will be sad if they come in and have no one to teach. So what the church is demanding of every member is to provide even more referrals for the missionaries to teach. We are dependent now on member more than ever! Invite your friends to listen to the missionaries!!! Remember in D&C 50 and our role to preach the gospel with the spirit. We can teach the gospel more effectively and spiritually when they have a friend in the gospel to help them. Keep on keeping on!


Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott

P.S. I heard through the grapevine that missionaries are now being admitted into CHINA for three year missions!!!!! The work of God continues!!!

Meeting many people tracting and setting dates


Hey Everyone!

       I hope you all are enjoying the start of the Christmas Season. It's a little different from what I'm used to in Los Angeles as it’s not as cold, but as of late it’s been raining quite a bit here. Something cool that the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center does here throughout the whole month of December is they hold a little Christmas concert every night. As missionaries, we've been inviting all the members and investigators to go up one night to feel the spirit of Christmas Season, and to see the lights set up around the Temple. I personally haven't seen it lit up yet, but we are making plans with our investigator Fredrico this weekend to see them. Elder Reeves are I getting into the Christmas mood with music, eggnog and all kinds of good stuff. Anyway, this week was up and down but it could be worse. Elder Reeves and I tried out an idea I had this week to carry around a bag a candies where each one has a Book of Mormon scripture on it. It made it a lot easier to talk to people on the street, but no immediate results came from it. But we did run into a woman running backwards in the park, so we talked to her, not interested though. We did meet a guy named Dywane trying to contact a former, and he told us how he did military training in Springfield Missouri, but didn't like it because everyone is racist against black people. Then he told us the story of how his house burned down when his Air conditioner blew up. The insurance company and government paid for the reconstruction He gave us a tour of his house, and it’s the nicest house I've been in beside the mission home in the mission. He's also unemployed but the government is paying for him too; mortgage and everything. Now I'm starting to understand why California's in debt! But the best part of this week was that we were assigned a mini missionary from the Hermosa Liahona ward. Where I was born in the mission!! His name is Jesus Martinez Morgan (19 years old), and he was taught before by Elder Reeves when he was in his area. He was baptized 2 months ago, and he's a fun guy. I got to go back to the Stake Center in Torrance, where I ran into Kevin Godinez and Violeta his Mom who got baptized my second transfer in the mission. They are my favorite family in the mission and my last companion in that area (Centinela), Elder Cressman, is still there. I miss my birthplace! Anyway, we had fun with Jesus. We found a guy in his house blasting music from his apartment, and he said he was baptized in Utah, but he's a major alcoholic. Then he when off to tell the story on how his friend ran through his front door window. Super Funny! Later we taught a lesson to a woman named to Yolanda who's from El Salvador but her husband is the biggest African American I've ever met! They got married 15 years ago, and she spoke no English at all. She was super hard to teach as she kept changing the subject speaking nonsense. Before the lesson we planned to have Jesus extend the baptismal invitation, but he got nervous and she misunderstood, but I don't think she was able to understand the lesson because she didn't try to listen at all. She made us some really good carrot cake though. Lastly, some other Elders in our area had a baptism and they invited us to give a missionary message to invite the people in attendance to have their friends listen to the missionaries. Jesus gave a great testimony of his conversion story and his love for the Book of Mormon. It was great to serve with him. We hope this week that our investigator, Fredrico, will accept another baptismal date this month and he will feel the urgency and desire to be baptized! Anyway I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season, and find a way to give a little more of your heart to some in need

Os amo tanto!!!!

Elder Marrott   

Thanksgiving Dinner and Fredirico


Hey Everyone!

        Thanksgiving week was quite eventful and Elder Reeves and I did get to eat. The Familia Pioquinto, members in our area and our apartment managers prepared us a dinner over in the ward chapel along with the other Elders serving in our ward. A lot more people here cooked more ham than turkey this year, because its 10x easier and cheaper. Not many people here have large kitchens, and usually they have large groups of people come over for dinner. We visited one Family who the Husband is a recent convert, Jose, and his wife Silvia is an investigator.  They are from El Salvador and they love the missionaries. We had a conversation about Thanksgiving dinner and somehow we got talking about fruit, and in El Salvador they grow a lot Cashew Fruit (I forgot the name in Spanish). Apparently cashew nuts actually come from a fruit. I HAD NO CLUE! Silva made us a cashew fruit drink, and It's probably the strangest flavor I've ever tasted. It’s super juicy, but it has a very dry taste. I was stunned. Anyway, concerning the missionary work, we had plans to have a baptism with a man named Fredrico. He is a super intelligent man, who has come a long way to receive a testimony of Jesus Christ. We usually teach him once or twice a week, because it’s hard to get contact with him because he doesn't have a cell phone. Recently he has had thoughts that he didn't feel ready to be baptism because of fear of responsibility, however Elder Reeves and Elder Rosales were able to clear up those doubts when I went on splits in another area. The day came that it was Fredrico's baptismal interview; we were waiting 3 hours at the chapel until we got note from Hermano Pioquinto, the ward mission leader and his friend that he was not ready and felt really rushed. We got super bummed. We fasted and prayed for him on Sunday, in hopes that he would be able to resolve his feelings about baptism. We taught him after church, and we were able help him understand the importance of baptism and how he should do it because of his desire to follow Christ. We explained that his Book of Mormon reading will help him resolve his fears, and his testimony will grow. He reassured us that he wants to be baptized in December, so it was an answer to a prayer that he isn't going to postpone it any longer. Besides Fredrico and a couple other investigators, the work in Crenshaw is really slow mainly because the part where most of the Hispanics live in our area reside in a place called the Jungle where it’s full of gated apartment complexes and it's super hard to contact them. However Elder Reeves and I aren't discouraged. Even though we might not have many people to teach, we do see quite a few things out of the ordinary. I'll just say that there's quite a few people here who are "under the influence" some things are probably inappropriate to write. But it’s been fun. Haha. and I hope everyone enjoys the start to Christmas Season!


Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott

Turkey Bowl in the Jungle


Hey Everyone

         It's been another fun week in Los Angeles starting with the TURKEY BOWL that the mission set up to play last Monday. It's been a while since I played flag football and I played center the whole time. My zone got to play against two other zones. It was interesting because sisters played too so we did our best to play with them without tackling them. They played super well as one sister picked off a pass from one of the Elder's in our zone Elder Olsen. President Baker was there and he talked trash about everyone, it was pretty fun. Unfortunately there will be a rule change this next month that sports won't be permitted to be played in the mornings and all missionaries will have to run 20 minutes every morning because too many missionaries are getting hurt. I don't care that much because I’ve actually missed running, but it will be weird running in the JUNGLE in the morning. I don't know what I will see. Elder Reeves and I hope to have a baptism this week with Fredrico but we think he might have some doubts, we will be praying for him hard. On Saturday, we had a ward Thanksgiving party with the ward and they serve a whole bunch of Turkey and mashed potatoes. I was concerned that I wasn't going to have turkey this year because since I'm serving in a Spanish ward. Nonetheless I got my Turkey. I hope to share with you all more fun stories from the Jungle, but I'm out of time. I'll let you know next week!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott  

Mouse-capades!

Got it cornered?

Captured!

He's kinda cute looking...

Pictures of Luis's Baptism Day!

Elders with Luis (Scotty in white!)


Elder Marrott with Luis

Luis and Parents

Luis with his Parents and Elder Marrott

Louis and family with Elders

Louis with family

Elder Scott in front and Luis in center surrounded by Elders!

Luis's Baptism! Hooray!


Hey Everyone,
        
             It's been bittersweet this week, but I'd say it's the happiest I've been on the mission so far! I found out last Monday that Elder Walker would be training this transfer, so I knew I would be leaving. It was hard to leave all my investigators especially Luis just a couple days before his baptism, but it know it was an inspired decision. So now I've been transferred from Hollywood to Crenshaw aka "The Jungle!" It’s about 20 minutes directly south of Hollywood, but it's totally different. My area is densely populated with African Americas, and we live in an area densely compacted with apartment buildings. Apparently, the story of my area is that in the 70s or 80s, some construction company wanted to extend Baldwin Hills (really nice subdivision) with a huge neighborhood jam-packed with gated off apartment complexes. At one point the company couldn't fund the project anymore and the government had to finish it. There's several apartments here provided by government welfare now, but its really well kept and maintained. Compared to Silver Lake, it’s really hard to do tracting and contacting because of all the gated apartments, but my new companion Elder Reeves from Ogden, Utah has worked the area really well and we hope to baptize this transfer!
          BUT THAT'S NOT THE BEST PART! LUIS FINALLY GOT BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!!!!! And I had the privilege to come back and baptize him. It was at 2:00, but my church in my new ward had sacrament a 1:00 so it was crazy getting there on time. We got all my previous companions, Elder Blackham and Elder Rodriguez, rides so they could see it too. I had to borrow baptismal clothing from Elder Rodriguez, because honestly I never thought was going to personally be baptizing, but it was awesome that Luis wanted me to do it. Elder Walker did a great job organizing the program and having awesome members to speak. But the best part was that his whole family got to come and see, Mom, Dad, Sisters, Sisters boyfriend, and his grandparents. They all loved it, and his mom and grandmother cried when he got up to bear his testimony, and it was by far the best testimony I've ever heard in my life, because the Spirit was so strong. I'm very excited for him as he has plans to work with Elder Walker and his trainee to go to lessons and teach with them. He said he would serve a mission, but he was an obligation to go to college if he wants to get his visa. I hope, he will have the chance. I was able to write him a letter and give him a copy of Our Search for Happiness by Elder Ballard. I can't explain in words the blessing it is to help someone come to know that Christ is our savior and that he has restored His gospel once again through a modern day prophet. Luis has a lot of great things ahead of him and I hope he is able to help his family attend church and listen to the missionaries too!
         I've been reading in Moroni 6 this week and it talks about the great blessing it is to be baptized in the Church of Christ and how we all will be remembered and be kept in the right way. That is my prayer for every member, missionary and investigator to learn the gospel that they may feel of the blessings of conversion and peace within the gospel!

Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott  


PS I hope you enjoy the pictures of the baptism and my adventure last week killing the mice in our apartment

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Of Mice and Missionaries



Hey Everybody

          I hope you all had a great Halloween! It was different for me. The Hollywood Ward (English) and my ward did a combine Trunk or Treat party at the ward building on the day before Halloween. It was fun. The bishop in the Hollywood ward and wife dressed up as Barbie and Kent and had their two little kids as Woody and Jessie from Toy Story it was the best ones that I saw there, but It was quite crazy on Halloween, President wanted us in by 5:00 pm to keep us safe from the messed up people here in Los Angeles, so my zone ended up playing basketball at the church. Super fun. So we planned to have Luis's baptism this Sunday, however when we interviewed him on Thursday, he told us that his family wasn't going to be able to attend yesterday, so we postponed it for this next Sunday, other than that he's pretty much ready for baptism. We wish we could have worked more with his family, but his parents are quite the busy people. But we hope that Luis's baptism will spark a fire in his family to listen to us. Luis asked me as well if I could baptize him, so I'm super humbled to do the ordinance for him. It will be my first time so I'm pretty excited! Also this past Saturday, Elder Walker and I had the special opportunity to go to Presidents brand new house to eat dinner with him and his wife. Every transfer President prepares a dinner for the missionaries who had the cleanest apartment, and surprisingly we won. It truly is a surprise because we received notice that we won last Monday, but a day later we ended up finding 3 mice in our appointment. It was quite hilarious as we ended up trapping 2 of them down and killing them. The first one ran and hid in the closet, and we planned to scare him down a corridor that we made to make him run into a corner, so Elder Walker could drop a 25 lb. weight on him. However I ended up stepping on his leg as scared him up, Easy Kill! The second was reacting wildly as Elder Walker ended up chasing him down with a frying pan. He first tried to hit him with it, missed but shook him up, then with his soccer instincts, he stomped him super hard. Let's just say it was quite the mess! Anyway, yeah, we won the cleanest apartment award! Don't worry we told president about it. But it was nice to sit down and talk with him and a have more personal interaction with him and his wife. There were other missionaries there and they asked him about how the influx of missionaries will affect the mission. He said that we should expect that several areas in the mission should be being split in half in about year. Craziness! Even though LA is one of the smallest missions in the world, the organization is out of this world complex. My president has a really hard time keeping track of all the missionaries, the language they speak, it is quite a demanding job. I believe he's inspired of God and I wish him luck this transfer with all the decisions he will have to make as 22 new missionaries are coming in this week, the probability of me leaving Silver Lake/ Hollywood this Wednesday is very high. Wish me lucky. I appreciate all your prayers and thoughts. Remember God loves you!

Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott  

GO LUIS!



Hey Everyone,

        It’s been another interesting week with a lot of changes at church here in Hollywood. Part of the changes to the Los Angeles stake adding in the Spanish wards, the ward I attend and the English Hollywood Ward are combining the Primaries and the Youth Programs so they can grow up and work together to build the stake and church in Los Angeles. What happens now is that Hollywood Ward still has sacrament at 9:00am, but now The Spanish ward starts church with classes with the Hollywood ward at 10 00. We end up having sacrament meeting last something I've never done before, and I actually like it a lot as people get to mingle better before classes and by sacrament people are sitting together and are more unified. Unfortunately, Luis wasn't able to make it to church as he got a ride to a party Saturday Night where everyone got super drunk and he couldn't get a ride back home in time. He stayed strong and resisted the temptation to drink, but he's told us that his desire to drink is gone. He’s attending church enough times that he's still on for his baptism on Sunday. He'll be interviewed this Wednesday, and I can't think of anything that will prevent him from coming. Ana Monzon was planning Saturday Night to come to church, but she woke up sick with headaches and nose bleeds, so she didn't come. But she's pretty much committed to progressing and investigating the Church. She's loved the videos we've suggested for her to watch online like the Testaments, Both Restoration Videos and the speech that Elder Bowden of the Seventy gave about the loss of her children. She got a lot of comfort from it and she knows that two of the children that she lost are in a good place and with a purpose. Lastly, I had a pretty cool experience while waiting in the church while my companion was in a leadership meeting. An older couple walked in the foyer, and asked us when church started on Sunday. They were English so I told them that the Hollywood Ward started at 9 00. They said they had been inactive for about 25 years after they both went to BYU, and haven't had any contact with the church at all except Christmas cards from their old bishop and a visit from a missionary couple 2 years ago. Apparently what the missionary had to say to the sister really left an impact on her. They both watched conference and were really touched by President Monson’s talks. This was a great testimony booster for me as it shows that God is aware of all of his children and that he wants all of them to partake in the blessings of the gospel. I love 3 Nephi 28:10-11. And how we can receive [editor’s note: Elder Marrott left this statement incomplete].

Until next week! Os amo tanto
      
Elder Marrott

Hiking Up to the Hollywood sign and Sis. Monzon



Hey Everyone

      I just got back from hiking up to the Hollywood sign with my zone. We live about 20 minutes away from the Hollywood Hills, and we see the sign everywhere we go. It's one of the most unique views I've seen in my life. It’s not very often that you can be on a mountain overlooking one of the biggest cities in the world. I make sure to send some photos home for you all to see. It's been a very successful week in a way as Elder Walker and I were able to accumulate 4 baptismal dates. Luis is still on track for his baptism even though he didn't come to Stake Conference this week. Recently he's been playing for a local soccer teams and playoffs are starting soon, which are on Sunday nights. We hope this doesn't interfere with his baptism, but we hope he will make the best decision. We've also been working with a lady lately named Ana Monzon, yeah she has the same name as the prophet only with a Spanish zing to it! She's from El Salvador, and she's quite the optimist. In the past she's had 2 of her 3 children pass away, both who died in their preteen ages from different diseases, but she is very humble and she knows that God loves her and her family. We've wanted to show her the conference talk one of the seventy gave at General Conference about his experience about losing his child. She'd love to hear that God has a plan for them. She loves us coming over reading the Book of Mormon with us and we were able to explain the blessings of baptism by reading 3 Nephi 27 and she really wants to prepare to be baptized as she knows that it will bless her life. We also found a man last week too named Raul from El Salvador who used to live next to members who housed missionaries in El Salvador. He never took the opportunity to talk with him before until we came by. He's local jeweler and a great family man that cares for his family. We read with him the promise of the Book of Mormon, and he can already sense that it is true and he's determined to read and feel the divinity and veracity of it. It's been a great week! Missionary work is all about determination. Elder Paul H Dunn said “there is no disgrace in falling; it is laying there that defeats us. The life of every great person is full of discouragement - falling, failing. Getting up is what makes the winner.

Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott

Some Real Progress with Luis



Hey Everyone,

        This week was difficult but ended up being very rewarding. This week we had Zone Conference, where President Baker focused a lot on how we can be better at "flooding LA with the Book of Mormon this last part of the year, and he challenged us to finish reading it by the end of the year. I've taken a lot of time to really understand and breakdown the BOM and I am really starting to see how inspired it is and how no evil man could write it and a good man wouldn't have written it unless it was through the power of God. Anyway, I bet you all were all excited to hear about Luis's baptism. Well....This Wednesday we visited the visitors’ center and he surprised us by saying that he wants to wait until the end of the year to be baptized so he can start the New Year off fresh, like a new year’s resolution. We would have been more bummed up, but we really enjoyed the visit at the VC main because Luis truly understands the gospel of Jesus Christ and has intentions to follow him. He came to church on Sunday, but I didn't go because there was another elder that had a baptism to go to and I joined him. While Luis was at church, a member talked to him about receiving the blessings of the gospel sooner, so after church we were able to agree to have him baptize him on Nov 4 the Sunday before the end of the transfer. We are happy for him, especially because he has a desire to serve a mission as well.


Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott

After General Conference



Hey Everyone!

     I hope you all enjoyed General Conference! I got to watch it in two different stake centers, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. I was pleased to hear about the announcement concerning the age qualification change of missionaries, and I'm looking forward to hearing that the priests in my home ward will prepare to go on their missions as soon as possible. There's also been a need for more sister missionaries as well, so were excited to hear that they have to wait less time to serve a mission. Great News! If any of the talks touched my heart the most it would be Elder Holland's speech on Peter's life changing conversation with the Resurrected Christ. One of my MTC teachers shared with me this same talk given by Elder Holland when he spoke to missionaries in an MTC in Mexico on this very topic. I loved how he said that "The crowning characteristic of love is loyalty" I don't think there is any other way that we can show our love to Christ than through our loyalty to do what he asks of us; Keep the Commandments; Love others; and Share the Gospel. Once we have taken upon the name of Christ upon us at baptism, there is no reason or excuse to go against doing what is against God's will. Christ's atonement marked the beginning of a Christian life, not the end! I was so glad to take part in such a great conference. Anyway concerning this week, it’s really going to define if we are going to baptize this transfer. Luis has been really sick this week with a bad cough, so it’s been hard to meet with him and help him completely prepare for his baptism this coming Sunday. He has expressed his desire to be baptized this Sunday, and he even got online on Sunday to watch all the sessions of Conference while he's recovering. As long as we are able to keep daily contact with him, and have his baptismal interview this week he's set to go. Dad wants to know more about him, so Luis is 21 and he was born in Guatemala, but moved over to LA when he was a really young. From what he's told us is that he wasn't a good influence on his peers or his family while he grew up through high school, but after dropping out of school for a couple years, he finally realized he needed to make a change. In the past couple months he's had 3 jobs and has been going to school to get his GED. He graduated a couple months ago and now he's in a college trying to get a degree in literature. The missionaries found him the transfer before I came in, and he's had interest in the gospel for a while, but he was so busy with school and work that we could hardly meet with him. One day he told us he quit his job so he can focus more of his efforts in school and to make more time for us. Before he met with us, he was about to baptize in to a local church by his house, but he didn't when his mom told him that once he got baptized he could go back to the way he was before. When we invited him to be baptized, he told us that he was really to make the change, and he knows that the gospel has truly inspired him to live better. He lives with his parents and 2 younger sisters. We haven't really gotten to know his family, but Luis has expressed to us that since we've met with him, his parents and sisters have seen improvement and a change of heart. We have plans to teach his family this week to explain what Luis will be committing to do with his baptism. The ward has been really good with him as the last couple times we've invited him to play soccer with us on Mondays. He loves it a bunch!
Anyway, I hope you all have a great week y Paz a vos!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott
    

Big Transfer, Zone Divisions and Great Music



Hey Everybody
Well, we had transfers again this week. With the changes of the Spanish stake, the whole mission got rearranged BIG TIME!
Elder Walker and I are still here, but the zone has totally changed. There is only 3 companionships that cover our ward instead of 4 and there's only 2 districts in our zone; My Spanish district and the district with the 2 Korean speaking elders and the English Elders that cover Hollywood. But that's not the craziest thing. Apparently, there has been a boundary conflict that the mission and the LA stake have had between My ward LA Barrio 4 and and LA Barrio 3. The major portion of the area where most of our work had been inside LA Barrio 3 limits, but missionaries of 4th ward had covered it for a long time. Now a large portion of our area has been officially given to other Elders in Barrio 3 which includes 2 of the baptismal dates Paula and Flor and most of the members that we work with. Yeah...so It looks like Elder Walker and I are starting at square one again to find more people to teach. Luis is still our light of hope at this point as he seems to be progressing towards his baptism. He got sick however after playing soccer with us and the ward last Monday. He still came to church, and has a strong testimony. There was a couple fun things that I did last P-day. There's a place in Hollywood called Amoeba Music where it has the largest inventory of CD, Vinyls, and Movies in the United States. I found a soundtrack CD from the Movie called The Soloist which takes place here Los Angeles. I saw it in orchestra class in high school. The music is played by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra that plays in the Walt Disney Concert Hall that is in my area. I thought of it as a good souvenir, and its approved music. BONUS! Well considering the changes, its seems like Elder Walker and I will survive this transfer, and We're looking forward to baptize Luis! Los Angeles is pretty hot still as it hit 104 degrees when we were playing soccer. Take Care!
Os amo tanto!

Promising Results from Investigators and Gangstas!



Hey Everyone!

It’s only been a couple days, but several interesting things happened this week. Out of the 3 investigators we have with a baptismal date only Luis came to church. It’s a little frustrating, but Luis is on his way towards baptism and he's not looking back. There are several more things that we need to address, but he's totally gung ho about baptism. We had a lesson at the church again where we had a "Plan of Salvation Tour". Elder Walker and I along with Hermano Laguna (recent convert as of 3 years) went from room to room and taught a principle from the Plan of Salvation. Luis had some former ideas that Resurrection basically meant Reincarnation, so we cleared that out! By the end, Luis opened up and told us that his mind and perspective on life has never been clearer than before, and he's going to do his best to make the church priority in his life. At church, because the Spanish stake dissolved, the LA stake president, President Bragg, address the ward. He served his mission in Monterey Mexico so his Spanish was really good. Luis really enjoyed his message as he talked a lot about the plan of salvation that we covered the day before. We've been in really close contact with him as we played soccer with the ward again this morning and Luis came as well. It's all working out well with him. Concerning the other two baptismal dates, Flor actually went to the visitors’ center with Hermana Bernardino and the sisters taught them a lesson there. She liked it, but she's not really convinced about how the gospel and the church is relevant to her life right. She wants to take it slow and learn at the pace she wants. She's got friendship in the church and she's going to try to read more from the Book of Mormon. We'll see how it goes. And with Paula, AHHH she promised that she was coming to church FOR SURE. But she didn't. It's hard to get in contact with her as she never answers the phone, but she has such a great testimony in the gospel. Our goal is that she can at least come to conference because we know that once she hears the voices of the prophets, it’s going to put her priorities straight.
It was cool to hear about the space shuttle being transport here to Los Angeles by a jet airplane. An investigator told us about how it was going to fly around LA for everyone to see and land at Exposition Park where they have the science center where is going to stay. Unfortunately, we had district meeting at 11:30 and it pasted by us at 11:45, so we missed it. It’s okay, because Elder Walker and I drove past a crime scene on Sunday Afternoon where there was a helicopter, 8 cop cars, and 7 cuffed up gangstas being arrested. All of them were tattooed up from head to toe. That's LA for ya. That's about it!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Finding Lots of People to Teach!


Hey Everyone,

  Sorry I didn't write on Monday. Today we have Temple P-Day so I just came from an endowment session. I was very peaceful and I feel very comforted about a lot of things that happened in the past two transfers. Everything seems to be calming down a lot, BUT we have great news that we've set 3 baptismal dates this week. One is Flor who is older Colombian woman who lives in the house behind recent converts in our area Dora and her daughter Janet. They are very good friends with her and she loves the missionaries and the church. Because they are so close, her transition into the church will go really well. We have a dinner set up with her tonight; she makes some awesome Colombian food. The rice is really good because it's really salty, how I like it. The second is Luis, a 21 year old who we've been in contact for along time but he's been busy with work and school and we haven't seen him very often. But now he's opened up his schedule, his coming to play soccer with on P days and he's wants to meet with us 3 times a week. We had a church tour with him this last Friday where we showed him around the classrooms, library, gym, and the chapel. He felt super peaceful and happy inside the chapel and he felt like it’s a special room that cut off from the rest of the world. The best part of the tour is that we were able to talk about all different topics of the gospel. We watched several Mormon Messages on his phone including the "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" with Elder Holland and the "What is Light" Segments with Elder Bednar. I absolutely loved them and I recommend everyone to watch them. He's come to the conclusion to himself that the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet, and he's getting ready to be baptized on the 14th of October. The last one is Paula! Yeah we found her again at home, and she had been praying this past month to come back. She's already in Alma in the Book of Mormon and she loved the Restoration movie that we left with her. We had a lesson where we went over the baptismal interview questions and she has a testimony of everything, EVERYTHING! She's committed herself to come to church so she can be baptized on the 21st of October. YEAH! So it’s been a great week with Missionary Work. On Sunday, We had Stake conference and Elder Johnson from the Seventy came again. In LA there is one Spanish stake, Huntington Park West that covers the whole southern portion of Los Angeles. It was actually the first Spanish stake ever organized. But Sunday they totally dissolved the Huntington Park West Stake, and integrated the wards into the English stakes. BIG CHANGE. The primary purpose of the change is to better prepare the youth of today to lead the Church tomorrow. The Spanish and English units in each stake will work together to establish common primary and youth classes taught in English. Adult classes will continue to be taught separately for each ward. It's exciting news, so now I'm serving in Los Angeles Stake. Cool Stuff. One more thing, Elder Walker and I ran into a hobo on the street we found at very beginning of the transfer. Her name is Tex and she's a Navajo Indian that was foster raised by members of the church. Super funny lady. Last time Elder Walker gave her an extra pocket knife that he had on him. She told us that she had stabbed 2 men who had tried to attack her. Los Angeles is CRAZY! Other than that, Life is great and I know the gospel is true. President Packer said that "The study of the doctrine of Christ will change the behavior of men a lot faster than the study of behavior will change behavior." So true!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Monday, August 27, 2012

More Teaching and Service Opportunity


Hey everyone!

      It's been another crazy week as we've had transfers. Elder Blackham left to be a zone leader in an English ward, Elder Rodriquez returned to his area where he was before his companion got re-assigned, and now Elder Walker is my companion. He is a good friend of mine from my last area in South Bay and we both assisted the Hermosa Liahona Ward. It's been cool to hear the success they've had in the ward as they had quite a few baptisms and more coming on the way. We'll be going back for a baptism this Sunday. So I'm getting excited to go back! Anyway, Elder Walker is from Mississippi, and he has an unique southern accent. In some way or another he speaks some really fluent Spanish as he's been serving for about a year. He was made the new district leader here. He's got a lot on his shoulders with a new responsibility and we both are going to be learning the area together. It's been a struggle with our investigators this week with Paula and her family as hardly got contact with them. It's so frustrating but we at least know she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, I'm not too concerned. We had a good lesson with Sandra and her daughter Stephanie this week where we established the possibility of baptism. Because they like the church, they are considering it. Unfortunately they didn't show to church on Sunday. I'm excited to work with Elder Walker because he's very bold and has some great ideas to get our area moving. One special thing we got to do this Saturday was doing service for a church who was handing out school supplies for kids in the city. We were assigned to help fit shoes for the kids. It took place in a parking lot in the middle of the day, and there were thousands of people who showed up to come. It was the craziest scene ever! People waited 3 to 4 hours in line to see if they could get a pair of shoes. Many of the smaller sized shoes ran out really fast so it was hard to tell the little kids that there was no shoes there size. But they had a lot of really nice pairs and it was cool to see their faces when they tried them on. I was grateful to help those kids that needed help. I am looking forward to this week.

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Crazy Roller-coaster Week


Hey Everyone,

         It was a crazy fast week with some ups and downs. We are still struggling to keep constant contact with our investigators, even though some are coming to church like Sandra and her Family. We had a lesson with them watching the Restoration Video.  They were a little confused but because they love church, the ward, and the doctrine of gospel, they know that they will come to know for themselves that it is true. They are a really special family. We've struggled to find Paula at home, even though we've set appointments with her and she wants to go to church. However, we came to learn a little more about their family through her daughter Carla who was visiting with her 2 daughters from the projects in Watts (really harsh part of town, the mission just closed off that area for missionaries due to violence). She expressed to us the desire to read the Book of Mormon because Paula has taught that it can really help her right now. She basically told her whole life story with drugs, her ex, her job, her house everything! My companions and I were blown away by her story. The special thing I got to do was to bear my testimony of the Atonement to her and how all her guilt, pains and fears can disappear as she puts her trust in God's plan especially in Christ. I promised her that as long as she read from the Book of Mormon and prayed every day, she and her family would be protected from any danger, as she lives in a very dangerous neighborhood. She's been sleeping with a shotgun in her arms for a long time and has had nightmares fairly consistently every week. I walk away feeling extremely grateful that I've been raised in the gospel and have the opportunity to spread the good news of the gospel. The last couple highlights of this week include Temple Service, the missionary farewell fireside, and playing soccer with the men in the ward. This last Thursday because the temple is closed the next few weeks my companions and I got to do some pruning on several bushes and trees that are in front entrance of the temple. We had tiny machetes to cut off branches and we placed them on burlap sheets to carry them around to dispose them. I had been a while since I worked that hard in the hot California sun. It's been fairly hot here, but not as bad compared to what I'm used to back home! It was fun to go to the fireside because I got to say goodbye to a few missionaries that are going home AND say hi to my last companions (Elder Ditton and Elder Cressman) and my last Ward Mission Leader Hermano Romero! Oh man I almost cried when I saw him! Apparently a lot of things have gone down in my last area, especially with my last investigators. Freddy and Enrique have gotten worse with drinking and drugs so its no longer safe to see them anymore. It broke my heart, but I know one day they will humble themselves so they can feel happier in the gospel. Lastly this morning we played soccer with the ward, and I actually scored a goal! Yeah I showed up a bunch of Latinos. I surprised myself more than anyone. Well transfer are coming up this week so I will let you know how it goes!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Family

Ohh Aubrie.......I'm so sorry!! I can't even imagine what you are going through. If you get the chance to share with me how you're doing, I'd love to hear from you! I'm going to be sending you a letter real soon!

Were you able to view the pictures I sent 3 weeks ago?

I'm running low on black socks, I keep losing them in the wash. If you could send me some I'd appriciate it.

Kurt: If you get the chance, do you think you could send me copies of the music you had on your mission (ex: Paul Cardal and John Schmidt) that would be awesome.

Thank you Mom for the letter!

Love you all

Short and Sweet Message


Hey Everyone

Another fast week this week with some fun experiences. We had lessons again this week with Paula and her mom as well as Sandra and her 2 daughters. Paula seems to understand everything we teach, but she just has come to church while Sandra is just beginning to learn and she came to church for the second time this week. Just goes to show how people progress in the gospel than others. I got to bear my testimony this week in sacrament meeting as they had a meeting dedicated to missionary work. I'm glad that I got to do it as a lot more members are coming up to talk to me more. The ward is super friendly here and really excited about doing missionary work. For dinner on Saturday we went to a place called Tommy's where they sell only Chile cheeseburgers. Weirdest burger I've ever had but I was worth it. The best part about being in the city is going on the roofs of apartment buildings and seeing the Hollywood Sign and Downtown LA. It's so cool.

Have a great week

Os amo tanto

Elder Marrott

A Great Start In A New Area


Hey Everyone!

          This week has been full of fun and exciting news and experiences. Since the beginning of this transfer, we've found quite a few new investigators that are interested in the gospel. One includes Rocillo and her family. We had a lesson with her Monday night with her nephew Omar and her grandma Socurro that live in Mexico. We taught the plan of salvation and answered a few questions they had about the pre-earth life and the difference between a spirit and a soul. We are meeting with them tonight and hopefully receive their information so they can continue receiving the missionaries in Mexico. With my new companion being a district leader, we've gone on exchanges a couple times when he had meetings or to have interviews with the other missionaries in our district. I went on exchanges with Elder Hernandez, who is my grandfather in the mission. (He trained my trainer Elder Ditton). He's from El Salvador and he's been serving in his area forever. All the members of the ward are in love with him. Many of the ward events planned for this week are too give him a farewell party as he leaves at the end of this transfer. Anyway we had a really great lesson with a lady named Ita and we were close to having her accept a baptismal invitation after teaching about the gospel of Christ. I learned a lot about teaching with Elder Hernandez as he's a very natural teacher and I wasn't hard for him to ask her to be baptized. As a mission we are working a lot this week on the FUNDAMENTALS of missionary work, and one includes the Doctrine of Christ which focuses on extending the baptismal invitation in the very first lesson with a new investigator. This really helps as we quickly address with our investigators that our purpose is to help them come unto Christ which includes baptism. This week has been special because I had 2 opportunities to invite our investigators to be baptized. One was with Paula and her 95 year old mother Graciela who we met my second day in Silverlake. But she's one of the "prepared" people how address to us that she loved the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet that we gave her. She took time on her own to find out about what it takes to get baptized, and she read from Moroni 6 about not baptizing children until they're eight. She really liked it. She told us directly that she wants to join our church, even though we didn't teach anything or come to church yet! SO PREPARED. We planning to have her and her mother be baptized the 5th of August. She couldn't come this Sunday because she works really late at a rehabilitation facility. She's coming this next Sunday and we hope to teach her a couple more times this week as well. That's not all. This past Friday we had a lesson as well with Luis, 21 year old who's been working hard to get his GED. My Companion Elder Blackham and his past companion had been teaching him for about a month, and he has shown a lot of interest in what we have to share. He's changed his life around so he could be more responsible to take care of his family and to prepare himself for the future. We were on exchanges again, and Elder Rodriguez (who came into the mission the same day as me) taught him the plan along with one of the young men in our ward Dave. It was a very spiritual experience even though we did in a stairwell to an apartment. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted. We're excited for him; the only thing that might impede him is that he plays soccer on Sunday, so we are looking forward to teach him more about the Sabbath Day. Basically the work has skyrocket here in this area, we going to keep working hard to get our investigators to progress. The other great thing about this area is the Ward. Barrio Cuarto is very organized and very active. Last Friday, we had a missionary dinner at the church building with all the members who are involved with missionary work; the ward mission leader, gospel principles teachers, ward missionaries, quorum presidents, relief society, bishopric. I'm excited to get to work with more members because they are the key to accelerating the work.
      Anyway, I'm been having a lot of fun. My companion and I are very similar in personality but we are very different in height. He's super tall 6'7! The Spanish is going well, I don't know many words, but one way or another I can carry out a lengthy conversation. I'm obviously still working on it, but I feel very comfortable teaching and it's the best part about the mission. I'm back in a car area, so I'm not biking as much and the members that feed us here, stuff us up. I love Latino food, but man they make so much! Elder Blackham and I are working on running more in the morning so hopefully we don't gain weight. Last I checked I was still 135, hopefully it’s the same! The weather here is a little different than it was in my last area as I was closer to the beach. Now I'm nearer the city and there's more concrete and blacktop to absorb the heat. It's gotten to the 90s but it's not humid at all so I can deal with it.

Anyway that's all folks. I love this work and its helping me become a more bold and fearless person. 2 Tim 1: 7 says "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of a sound mind" I feel God working miracles inside me and with the people we met. HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING!

OS AMO TANTO!!!!!!

PS. I can't believe I'm almost 1/4 through my mission AHHHHH!!!!

Elder Marrott


Dad: Elder Blackham lives on the other side of state street near 800 N and 400E by Provo Canyon. He said that they teared the whole school down except the field house. Thanks for the info about the All-star game. I forgot all about it. Yeah TONY!  Try to get Phil’s Ecuador address, I probably won't get send my letter to him before he get's out of the MTC.

Mom: I haven't got your other letter yet but I'll get it soon. Thanks for the photos of Cam's wedding everyone looked awesome! Keep up with your running and the sales   

Kurt: Happy Birthday! I'm going to try to get a letter to you soon. Keep your head up.

Aubrie: Sorry I will try to write to you soon.

Missy and Ryan: I hope you all are doing well thanks for keeping up my blog!   

Transfer!


Hey Everyone,

         I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July. I got to celebrate my holiday by being TRANSFERRED!!!! Yes say goodbye to Lawndale, to Hermosa Liahona Ward and the beach, and Hello to Silverlake and Los Angeles 4th Ward and to Downtown LA/HOLLYWOOD. I was so hard to say goodbye to all the fantastic people, members and especially my investigators other in my area. I was so excited to make a lot of progress in my other area this transfer, but it looks like God has some work here for me to do. Silverlake is a lot different than it was in Lawndale. I am basically living in the Ghetto of HOLLYWOOD at the north-eastern boarder of the mission. The area reminds me of a old rundown San Francisco the streets are very hilly and they have some very cool views of the city. From the chapel that I attend, we can see the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory pretty vividly, and Dodgers Stadium is just a 1/4 mile outside my area......and my mission...I'm a little disappointed about that. I'm looking forward to take pictures here because there are a lot cool, weird, and interesting sights. My new companion's name is Elder Blackham and the first thing that I noticed is that he is 6'7 ft. tall. Yep. He's also from Orem and attended Orem High, my dad's alma mater. He's really awesome and he's excited to work the area as he's not too familiar with either, so it's going to give us a chance to really learn how to work an area. We've already found some really good potential investigators and we hope that we can make some progress with them with the time we have here. This week I've really learned that God truly works in mysterious ways. I could have easily been distraught and bummed about leaving my last area, but I know that God has a reason for having me here in Silverlake, and I can already see why already. Wish me luck this week and I hope that we can find more people here who accept the gospel.

Os Amo Tanto!

Elder Marrott

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Success and Disappointment


Hey Everyone,
       This week was an emotional roller coaster, full of disappointments and successes. The week didn't start off well at all. This Tuesday, we went to go visit Freddy and we found him in a ferocious argument with his girlfriend Maritza. She was angry because he was drinking again and that he wasn't changing. It's really hard with him because he is super uber prideful and he doesn't understand the meaning of a change of heart. We were there trying to settle down the situation, but nothing seemed to work, as Freddy could not admit that he was at fault on anything. I was the hardest thing in my life that I've had witness. I broke into tears just watching what took place. Eventually Maritza stormed off and left us with no clue what to do, fortunately our Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Romero, (basically the most amazing man I've ever met) came by and tried to get things settled with Freddy, it didn't really work, but we just walked out and waited in the street to see if Maritza was coming back. While we were waiting we saw a girl on the street struggling to get her groceries out of the car. We ran over to help, brought everything to her apartment and were able to set an appointment to teach a lesson. This girl, Damaris is amazing, the best way I can describe her is that she's been prepared to accept the gospel. We actually had a lesson yesterday where we set a baptismal date with her! It's crazy how God bless us in the weirdest of circumstances. Anyway back to the crazy day. We walked back from Damaris's house after dropping off the food and Maritza was walking down the street. We got her to come back and work things out with Freddy. I don't know how we did it, but they were able to work things out. Miracle! But not really, Freddy is still being really stubborn and prideful, even after talking with Hermano Romero, even after having a lesson about humility, and even after talking with the bishop. He won't stop drinking! It's going take a lot of prayers and love for him to turn around. But we've found some wonderful new investigators this week so we aren't getting down on ourselves. Lastly, yesterday we got to go to a missionary farewell event. It's something awesome that the mission does where all the missionaries who are leaving this week get to share there testimonies in front of their former investigators and missionaries. The only way that us other missionaries can attend the event is if we find a ride with one of our investigators to take us, so we had some member take us and Freddy and Maritza. Its super special and its super cool see all the missionaries in one room again. I got to see my trainer Elder Ditton again. It is such a great, tight knit and organized mission here and President Baker is the best.
The gospel is a message of love, so we must love first before we can share doctrine. The best way to teach is to serve. I know that for myself. Christ is the greatest example of love and service, let us follow him!

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zone Conference


Hey Everyone,

     Since Wednesday, its felt like a whole week already filled with all sorts of craziness. Right after I sent the last email, My companion, 2 of the ASL missionaries Elder Alsop and Elder Neilson, and I went to sight-seeing at the Griffith Observatory right up near Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Sign. The trip up there was quite the eye opener, seeing all the fancy million dollar houses and driving down Santa Monica Boulevard. The street was packed with every type of store you can think of. It's an experience that you have to see first hand to describe. Let's just say it was very.....flamboyant....yeah. Anyway. We enjoyed looking out over the city and get a closer look to the Hollywood sign as well. It was also funny as the ASL Elders ran into a  young Jehovah Witness couple who knew ASL as well. It was the nicest conversation I've ever seen between LDS missionaries and JWs, mainly because they were saying a single word. It could have been an argument all that I know...haha.
        Then this Friday.....We had Mission Zone Conference in the Inglewood stake center where Elder Paul V Johnson from the Seventy came to visit. Every single talk that was given was amazing! Sister Baker spoke on the Atonement (the best one I've heard since Elder Holland), President Baker spoke on the Holy Ghost and how missionaries can able to be able to be worthy and attentive to use it in every aspect in missionary work. Lastly Elder Johnson spoke on how we can learn and teach spiritual knowledge. He earned his doctorate in learning development, so he spoke to us on how learning different types of knowledge requires different types of methods. For example, Learning Facts = Memorization, Learning Skills = Practice and Evaluation. Learning spiritual knowledge requires EXPERIENCE. We cannot receive a testimony of any principle of the gospel unless we take action, such prayer, reading, service, etc. It's just an amazing perspective. And While he was speaking, He stopped so he could do a role play practice with a set of missionaries so he could practice the concept of teaching investigators "spiritually" He had a sister pick a random number, which was 77, and he counted 7 benches and then counted 7 missionaries over. Guess who he pointed to? No it wasn't me but yes it was my companion, so in the end yes he pick us. Oh Goodie. We taught Elder Johnson and his wife as investigators who had received the first lesson on the restoration, and we were going to follow up on their commitments if they read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. In this case, they did not read or pray, but they wanted to hear the next lesson. As missionaries, this isn't good, as if we are just teaching them the lessons and not having them keeping their commitments, they are not learning by the spirit, the are just learning facts about the church. The role play was really fun, and went really well. I didn't really realize that I was teaching a General Authority until I sat down back in my chair. I was extremely lucky to have that experience and It's really re-enforced my desire to teach by the spirit.
     Lastly his Saturday, we were able to bring one of our investigators to the Visitors Center. I would tell more, but I have no time. It was a testimony builder and I was great to see how all the exhibits really helped Freddy in understanding the gospel more.
     I hope everyone can try to see to find spiritual knowledge everyday through reading and praying. As it says in 2 Nephi 32:3, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. But in verse 5 it also says the Holy Ghost will show unto you all things what ye should do. What a promise.

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Amazing Temple Trip


Hey Everyone,
        Sorry that I didn't write this Monday. This week they moved P Day to Wednesday so that we could go to the Temple this Morning. The LA temple is absolutely beautiful! It's just so huge and magnificent in every way. I was just in awe walking into every room. It's definitely one of my favorite place's now. Anyway this week has been so eventful, with the highlight of my week being my birthday. It was by far the most rewarding and memorable birthday I had in a long time. It started with having 3 investigators coming to church this Sunday. It was especially awesome to see Freddy come as he has had some struggles with living the word of wisdom. But we had an extremely spiritual lesson with him and his girlfriend as we committed to set a goals and make plans to abstain from drinking. Since then, he's only wanted to do what's right for him and Maritza. He actually showed up to church 1 hour before the service started, and we didn't have to go with them. After church, We went to visit two of my favorite families, one is Griselda and her kids Connie, Manuel, Daisy, and Little Joey. They surprised me with a bucket of sour gummy worms, a seviche lunch and tres leches cake AAAAAAAAAAAHHH so GOOD! It was so much fun. I recorded a video of them singing happy birthday to me, hopefully I can send it over some day. We also had Dinner with the Sanchez family with their three little girls who are totally obsessed with us. We had even more cake and took a lot of funny photos as well. Man, I've gotten so close with all the members here already, and when I blew out my candles (twice) I wished that I could spend 6 more months in this area. The teaching is going a lot better as we've made more goals and plans to have every time we teach. The investigators that we are working with now are progressing exceedingly Our finding opportunities are skyrocketing as we are working with the referrals we've received. We determined that the only way that we can maintain efficient contact with our investigators is through using members. We've been setting Family Mission Plans with many of the members in our ward and they are really opening up to going to lessons with us and finding ways to do the work. Members are awesome in having us come over all the time for dinner and we always are sharing messages with them. I just love it here. The weather has been perfect and its been a while since its rained. It just amazes me how it is just perfect weather everyday. True and lasting happiness only comes from living the gospel, especially as we help others live it as well. I know service is the best way to show your love to the lord and your fellow man (Mosiah 2:17) Always remember that God has a plan for you and you are never forgotten. Make sure that your friends and neighbors know this as well.

Os amo tanto!

Elder Marrott

Monday, June 18, 2012

Golden Investigators, All in One Apartment!


Hey Everyone,
      One thing that I've clearly noticed here on the mission is that days are like weeks and weeks are like days. It's really hard to watch time go by as my mission progresses. Anyway this week was filled with surprises
     This past Monday, Violeta (our recent convert) and her husband Sergio took us out to In n' Out for dinner. The whole time while we were there I felt like I should be in the back kitchen cutting potatoes. The burger was great, but I can say from the bottom of my heart (more like stomach) that Five Guys is truly the best burger joint, and I cannot deny it. I'm going to trying to convert Violeta and her family the truth as they have been blinded by the fancy logo and the Californian touch of In 'n Out. Also the fries were disappointing.
     ANYWAY (with things pertaining to missionary work). We've finally made some real progress with our group of investigators Enrique, Freddy and Oscar. They all live the same apartment complex, but it really is like a dormitory hall. We found them through a referral from the ward mission leader in another ward outside our stake. His name is Bishop Madrid, also known as one of the 3 Nephites because his amazing missionary capacity. He's the owner of the old run-down apartment that our investigators live in. One of the new residents, Maritza, a less active member, talked with Bishop Madrid and said that she wanted to introduce her boyfriend Freddy, Enrique, and Oscar to the missionaries.    Bishop Madrid gave us a key to get into the building under the conditions that we at least baptize everyone who lives there.....yep....And the great thing is that all 3 of them have the desire to be baptized and 2 of them understands what it means. The other, Oscar, is usually drunk most of the time, and we are praying that he can stop so he can remember and apply what we teach him. With Freddy and Enrique, they have really opened up and truly shown to us their desire to repent as we have taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. They shared with us some of their past experiences and expressed their desire to be rid of their guilt with using drugs and other things. On Saturday, we were able to get the permission from both of them to toss out all the substances and items that would tempt them to fall back into their old habits. We also gave them both blessings so that they could have faith to overcome their addictions. We are hoping Freddy will be committed to living the law of Chastity and find a way to get married soon so that he can get baptized. But wow, It crazy how much they love us. They are GOLDEN investigators, and I have loved seeing the changes they are making to come closer to Christ. Enrique, Freddy and Maritza all came to sacrament meeting for the first time. The members were great with befriending them. Miraculously, one of the recent converts Javier is good friends with Enrique as they both work in the restaurant business. Small World! It’s been great how everything has been working out for them. They have truly desired to prepare themselves to stand before God with pure hands and clean hands, and have the image of God engraven on their countenances. (Alma 5:19) I hope you all can find the joys that come from understanding and living by the plan that God has given us, it will bring the most peace and happiness that can be offered in the life and in the one to come

Os amo tanto!
Elder Marrott

FAMILY
Kurt I hope that you are able to get accepted in the animation program. I'll pray for you.
I got the Bible thank you.
Thanks for the Birthday wishes, it will be a great one!
 I'd love to get a copy of the Stake missionary newsletter
THANKS

Week 17, in Sum


Hey Everyone,

       I don't have much time, so I'll give a quick summary. This week again started off really tough, but the rewards always come at the end. Elder Cressman and I are getting along together great, but it has been hard to adapt to each other’s ways of teaching. My teaching really focuses on sharing doctrine, and Elder Cressman tries to teach according to what the investigators want to hear. We had a couple shaky lessons, but now we understand how each work and I going to get a lot better. Also, one of our investigator families that week found last transfer dropped us last week. Patricia decided to go with her friend to her church last Sunday and she felt more comfortable there. I we've regretted not getting members more active in our teaching with them, but we feel there's a chance that she might come back. We have hope! But this weekend was fantastic! We went to Violeta's and Sergio's wedding on Sunday as Bishop Vargas performed the ceremony in their backyard. It was beautiful! Then on Sunday..man.. it was the most stressful Sunday of my life as we were planning for Violeta's baptism. Making programs and following up with speakers and other people participating, while we were coordinating rides for investigators to get to church. I also had the privilege to ordain Violeta's son Kevin to the office of a priest as he was going to baptize his Mom later that night. Wow! I was mentally and spiritually drained by 12:00, but the baptism still had happened yet. But in the end it was great. I got to see Elder Ditton again, Kevin performed the baptism correctly, My companions and I sang Grande eres Tu!, and Violeta bore an amazing testimony. It was so worth the work. I have had a true change of heart this week and I am excited to have more experiences just like yesterday. I will never forget it. Everyone stay safe and healthy. I know that Christ lives and loves us all.

Os amo tanto!
Elder Marrott