God gives us agency not to change his doctrines. He gives us agency to choose if we will learn, accept, and live them.

Hi everyone!

I wish I could record every moment of the mission so you would understand all that I would love to explain. But I’m a little limited. 🙂 This week was really great. We were able to increase our results even more, and continue to higher our goals and work hard to achieve them. I love the mission. What a great deal have I learned and experienced. It is the most treasured time of my whole life up until now, and I know that it will continue to be a treasure to me.

We have been teaching Cintia almost daily this week and she is progressing so rapidly. The greatest difference between her and other investigators? Her will power. She reads the Book of Mormon daily and has great questions for us each time we teach her. She yearns to learn and do all that is within her reach to strengthen her faith and repent of her sins. We had a very personal experience with her this week as we taught about the principle of justice and mercy. At one point during the lesson, we saw that she had a question. We asked her to share with us her question as she hung her head. She finally looked up and was teary as she told us that she didn’t know if all her sins could be forgiven. She was DEVASTATED as she felt that something could keep her from being baptized. We could see that it truly was something serious, and we could FEEL her anguish throughout the night and all day following that cita. In our lesson the following night, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that it is ONLY by living the principles of His gospel that we may find peace and happiness in our journey back to His presence. Cintia felt it as well. We were all touched and we were able to know by the end of our lesson and could testify to Cintia that she could be completely cleansed by true repentance and baptism on the 5th of September and becoming purified by the gift of the Holy Ghost. She continues to read, learn, repent, and prepare for baptism.

We have been experiencing great blessings as we work with the members of the ward. We have been able to leave with them to contact the references they give of friends and family, long-lost high school companions, or little-known neighbors. I encourage all of you to pray for opportunities to share the gospel every day! I know that it may be hard when you go to a high school where 99% are members of the church, but that does not deprive you of opportunities to share the gospel, nor is it an excuse. 🙂 This work will not move forward until we, the members of the church, recognize our great part to play.

I was studying this morning in Alma 41 and 42 and I felt that my knowledge of a certain principle I have been recognizing and understanding on my mission was greatly strengthened. One of the greatest and surely the most sly of all lies that Satan has planted in the hearts of many people that we contact and teach is that ALL of the churches will take us someday to the same God. It doesn’t matter which church we belong to in the end. We all adore the same God, and one simply needs to learn well what his or her church requires, live it well, love our neighbor and God, and we will all be saved. A question we often ask is, if all of the different doctrines contradict themselves, how could they all be taught by God? How could a loving Father teach contradicting doctrines? How could the spirit testify of teachings that are completely opposite, or even varied in the slightest way? Our Father’s plan is already set. His commandments were set in stone long before we came to this earth. God gives us agency not to change his doctrines. He gives us agency to choose if we will learn, accept, and live them…. Or no. In Alma 41:8, Alma says to his son, Coriantum that

“… the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.”

The way is ALREADY prepared! Our duty is to find it, and “walk after his commandments” (2 John 1:6). What authority have we to decide what God requires of us so we may enter into His presence? This plan is of HAPPINESS. But the happiness we desire is only achieved when we learn our duty and do it, ever increasing our faith, and ever repenting of our errors. The Book of Mormon has helped me to know with a certainty that all of our Father’s commandments are for our protection and happiness. When we truly understand this, we will feel desirous to obey and embrace each and every one of them–not just a few or the majority. His standards are inalterable. I know that the authority of God and all of the exact principles of His gospel have been restored in the latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Jesus is the Christ. This is His church! I love Him. I love my mission. I love you all! I hope you can let the Book of Mormon constantly remind you of this principle. Read, study it daily! It is true.

All my love,

Sister Christine Marcheschi

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Why should our message matter to everyone upon this earth?

Hi all!

Thanks for all the pictures from Hawaii…. Hahaha no, we had a GREAT week here as well!! We had a leaders’ council and a zone meeting with the assistants to the mission president two days later and it was an awesome reminder and push to do ALL that is expected of us and more. This week I learned a great principle about goals and hard work. We left the council feeling VERY motivated and hopeful. This last week we have been able to put goals and immediately begin to work better, plan better to reach them. We have felt the Lord’s hand blessing us and helping strengthen and enlighten us.

On Friday we taught an especially special (haha) lesson with Cintia. She is so prepared to accept the true gospel of Jesus Christ! She had read both the pamphlet and the chapter in the Book of Mormon we had left her, and had several awesome questions. She commented that when she reads and prays, she feels a great peace. She told us she feels FULL and that she feels free and happy. I feel the same way when I read the Book of Mormon and pray. It is something that can fill any void we have inside. I am grateful for the restoration of the fulness of the gospel and there is such joy in testifying of that restoration. Hermana Mimi passed by to pick her up on Sunday for church and it was such a sweet sacrament. A sister gave a talk about the plan of salvation and may or may not have mentioned that if we have warts, burns, imperfections here we will die and be EXACTLY THE SAME. And also that the body will not be resurrected … but later that day we taught the Plan of Salvation to Cintia and cleared up a li’l of that…. She is preparing to be baptized the 5th of September and is faithfully reading the Book of Mormon each day. Oh how we love her and her two littles!

This week we learned that the only way out of stress and pressure is putting goals and working hard with the guidance of the Lord to achieve them. We are growing closer to meeting our mission’s goals and felt a calming assurance from our Heavenly Father yesterday that He is pleased with our work but will now help us to work even HARDER and do even more. I love this life! It is so hard sometimes, but no matter how much we progress, our Heavenly Father expects more. He is preparing us all for His eternal purposes. I think of the great responsiblity that has been given to our Savior to make sure that not one of the children His Father has entrusted Him is lost–and I think of the great responsibility WE have to diligently care for the part of those children the Savior, in turn, entrusts to us. The plan of God is perfect.

I have also gained a greater respect for the priesthood this week. I love that President Hinckley said, “If we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way.” Let us always revere and obey the counsels of our priesthood leaders so that God can open a way even when there appears to be no way. I testify of the truth of this restored gospel, that the Book of Mormon is a beautiful and sacred testament of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and of the prophetic nature of Joseph Smith’s calling to restore Christ’s church upon the earth. Why should our message matter to everyone upon this earth? Because only through the true gospel of the Savior may we come to know the exact principles and ordinances that will allow us to come unto Him and be saved with our family. I love the Savior. I love my Father in Heaven. I love you all!

All my love,

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

This gospel brings JOY and great UNDERSTANDING when we live it and study it daily

Hi everyone!

I am sorry for not having been able to write a good email these last few weeks. This week was challenging, but we felt so strongly the love of our Heavenly Father.

As a mission, we are creating a family mission plan with all of the families in our wards. Two weeks ago, we created a mission plan with a less active sister in the ward, hoping that it would also give HER a chance to be nourished by the spirit and the gospel! We planned several Family Home Evenings with her and the families we chose by the Spirit, but as each FHE passed last week and this week, every single one of the people she had invited cancelled! We put new plans with them, and again they cancelled. After one particularly frustrating intent for her, she entered us in her house and almost cried! She told us she didn’t want to try to invite anyone to hear the gospel anymore because everyone just cancelled, even after all of the effort she expended. We began to share a scripture and it wasn’t long before we all three received a special impression–the way we feel after many ¨failed¨ efforts to help other learn of and live the gospel is the way our Heavenly Father feels when we don’t keep our promises with Him. The less active sister who hadn’t been to church in more than 4 months looked at us and told us that she understood now and that this Sunday she was NOT going to miss church. We left her house feeling SO grateful for the experience Heavenly Father had allowed us to have, and she came to all three hours of church yesterday.

We also had a great lesson with a new investigator and one of the Relief Society counselors. Cintia is a mother of two little boys and the sister of a less active member in the ward. As we taught about prophets and the restoration of the gospel, every comment she made showed that it simply made sense to her. That it is all how it is supposed to be. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of September.

Mom and Dad, my camera was stolen this week! And the worst part is that I know who stole it. But I think their family needed the money more than I do. I am just a little bummed for some of the photos.

I LOVE studying the scritures. As Hermana Hernandez and I prepared a message for our district meeting, we learned how similar the mission is to the plan of salvation. As we prepare and send in our papers, it is as if we were spirits waiting anxiously to come here to earth!! Only to get here and feel as if we know practically nothing…. We learn how to rely on the Savior and then go home–and from then on, “we decide if we will live a celestial, terrestrial, or telestial life,” as a brother in our ward said this week.

In our earthly life, it is not so hard to remember that we are not perfect! Nor does our Father expect us to be, even as we part from this life. But on the mission, it is often harder to remember that the Lord requires a constant, consecrated effort on our part, but not perfection. If we will learn that the Lord needs us to take HIS yoke upon US, so we can feel that our burdens are made light. I learned that when the Lord invites us to take upon us His yoke, He asks us to come and join HIM in HIS great cause. Then, we will feel strengthened and supported. This work belongs to the Lord, and all of the fruits will be His forever. But how grateful I am that He allows us to carry a few so that we will feel strengthened, so that we will feel joy and learn of Him.

It is a beautiful part of the mission, and the plan of salvation, that we must suffer a little, endure a little, struggle a little–that sacrifice and sweat, diligence, patience, and great faith is what will make the fruit so sweet and precious (Alma 32:40-43). I know that the Lord has refined me, and continues to do it. Oh how painful the fire can be!! But oh how joyous is the fruit! I identify greatly with Alma 27:18 and Alma 26:21 and it is one of the great truths that I have learned! This gospel brings JOY and great UNDERSTANDING when we live it and study it daily. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. How great is our Father! In Him is our joy! (Alma 33:11)

I love you all!

Hermana Marcheschi

El Consejo hace unas semanas!

El Consejo hace unas semanas!

Nothing is possible without Jesus Christ

OKAY OKAY! After reading all of your great emails, I am so excited to write about our week. Just imagine me yelling with excitement throughout the whole thing because if I were telling this in person, that’s what I would be doing….

We had an amazing week. We still contacted a lot of people that in the end we couldn’t find, contact, or that weren’t very interested. We still had appointments fall, investigators tell us in few words that they didn’t have time to hear us (a sign of lack of understanding of the greatness of this gospel message), and we still walked a lot and were tried mentally, emotionally and physically. But last Monday I received such clear revelation–If I am truly going to do the Lord’s exact will, my greatest desire, I MUST rely on Him. I must be worthy to receive and be sensitive to the impressions of the Spirit in every single moment. That requires humility and EXACT perfect obedience! My very very best. I found a great talk by President Benson about member-missionary work and we decided as a companionship to do all we could to show the Lord that we depend upon Him for all success in this area. We have felt the joy and seen the blessings of a more profound humility and dependence on our Savior. We have come home at night so tired! But with a sweet satisfaction after working diligently.

My short time here has been the happiest time of my life. I testify that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us and rejoices when we turn to Him. On Monday we received a reference of the Sisters in Minerva; a teenage boy who they had contacted in the street. When we called him that day, he wasn’t too interested and told us that he would call us when he could receive us. On Tuesday after lunch, I realized that his address was close to where we were! We felt like we should pass by, and we did. His mother came to the door and very shortly, told us that we could return the following day at 6 for half an hour if she had time. When we arrived at her door on Wednesday at 6:00 sharp, her attitude had changed. She sat down her 3 youngest children next to her and began to listen intently to our message. For me, it was such a beautiful testament of the way the Spirit truly can touch the hearts of the investigators. This mother expressed her desire to simply help her children be good people, follow God, and be happy. She teared up as we testified of the gospel our Father has provided to His children–the plan that allows us to know exactly how to be successful and happy in this life and, some day, be worthy to return to His presence as a family. We respected the time she had, and set a new appointment for this Wednesday. She apologized and told us that she only had half an hour every Wednesday to hear us. As she prayed to close our lesson, she was so sincere and it touched me. She asked for the time to be made longer so she could hear our message every single Wednesday. She told us she knew we were there for a reason. I know that many times, Heavenly Father has distinct ways of leading us to those whom He is preparing.

Marino was baptized this Saturday!! (His daughter told us that he and his wife woke up at 5 am because of their excitement). Marino arrived at the chapel with a big grin from ear to ear. He was GLOWING. I’m telling you guys, I’ve never seen a grown man glow like that. His children sang “Las Familias Pueden Ser Eternas” (English translation?) in the service and the bishop was crying. I love their family with all my heart. I love this ward! Marino brought cake for everyone at his baptism, and even though the water was completely cold, He came out of the water and into the baptismal service again with his great big smile. After his baptism, we had an activity which we had done MUCH planning for in which we showed “Meet the Mormons.” We had trained all of the organizations on how to contact their friends, why it’s so important, and given each one 4 or 5 invitations (including the Primary) so they could invite friends. We had a pretty good turnout and some of them even came to church yesterday.

Yesterday was one of the greatest days. A member accompanied us all day and we visited a great reference of her father with the whole family. She was very sincere and receptive and we are excited to work with her. The gospel is so beautiful, guys! It fills us with joy to testify of these beautiful and perfect truths! We felt as if we were walking on clouds yesterday, talking with everyone in our sight and sharing our great message. Sharing the gospel is what brings us true joy as children of God.

This morning, I was studying President Benson’s talk together with President Uchtdorf’s talk about grace from this last conference. I realized how greatly our missions and the grand plan of salvation are related. Nothing is possible without Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love his gospel. I love the loving Father that sent Him in order to allow us to return to His presence someday. Keep studying your scriptures! Keep praying! I love you all.

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

I feel so happy to do all I can to help others know how to grow closer to Heavenly Father

Hi family!

This week was challenging and as always, we are learning many things. We are always working to better our teaching, increase our knowledge, and seek revelation for those we are teaching. We had another sister come stay with us in a trio for a few days and we also did divisiones with Hermana Brisolara and Hermana Farro in Los Altos. I stayed with Hermana Garcia (who came to stay for a few days) and Hermana Brisolara.

We had a great lesson with Hermana Marino, who is getting baptized this Saturday, about fasting and fast offerings. He participated a lot and was really enthusiastic towards the end about being able to serve others through his offerings. Everything about the gospel just makes sense to him now. In his teaching record, about a year ago, the sisters left him because he would never leave his room, he didn’t want to leave certain things, etc. It has been a privilege for us to participate and be witnesses of this part of his conversion. We had another great lesson on Sunday about service and missionary work. He was very animated as we talked with the family about the importance of serving others, especially by sharing with them the gospel. When Marino went to get something from his room, his wife whispered to us that the brand new Book of Mormon she had bought him AND his Bible had been given away to a friend before she even knew. We laughed but my heart felt so joyful!! The ward is really excited for his baptism as well, and Marino is anxious for the day. We love his family and look forward to the day they can be sealed for all time and eternity.

In these past few weeks, we have been studying how to recognize the spirit as a mission. One of the KEYS to recognizing the spirit is the form in which we pray. If our prayers will truly be given in the name of Jesus Christ, if we want them to be sealed in His name, we MUST say what the spirit will have us say. The spirit must guide even our personal prayers. I have felt so immensely blessed in this short time to have learned so much about how I can have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father and I feel so happy to do all I can to help others know how to grow closer to Him, obey his commandments, and return to His presence someday. I have felt humbled, strengthened, tried, loved, carried, blessed and I wouldn’t change all I am experiencing and learning for anything in the world.

I love you all! Thank you for everything.

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

Leaders' council a few weeks ago!

Leaders’ council a few weeks ago!

Consejos feel like a big party because more than half the sisters have been my companions :)

Consejos feel like a big party because more than half the sisters have been my companions 🙂

Hermana Hernandez and me today at lunch after our district activity

Hermana Hernandez and me today at lunch after our district activity

I testify that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ

Hey guys! I don’t have much time, but I love you all and am grateful for all your love and support!

Marco Antonio came to church again, this time with all three of his daughters. We have talked about exaltation and the doctrines of deification for the past two Sundays in Gospel Doctrine, but he continues to love it and learn a whole lot and write down tons of questions for us to answer. Right now he has a baptismal date for the 25th of this month, but we are thinking there may be some things he will have to clear up. He is such a testimony to me that ANYONE can learn and accept this gospel, if he or she will just have an open mind and heart. I love the gospel so much! I have been learning SO much from my studies in Alma 11, 12 and 13 this week. I have felt grateful for the revelation I have received of God’s plan and also the priesthood. I love the Book of Mormon. It is sacred to me. I testify that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ.

All my love!

Hermana Marcheschi

God is our loving Heavenly Father

Well hi family!!

This week was great. Working together with Hermana Hernandez is like just working with my best friend. I have been so grateful as I have felt that we have been able to lift each other and grow together. We continue to have such spiritual experiences talking with EVERYONE.

Yesterday, we had a training meeting for a few of our ward missionaries. As we left the gates of the church, a cute young family of four passed by on the sidewalk. I realized I had seen the mother earlier that day and Hermana Hernandez and I both turned around immediately and began following them. (Being creepy is literally our calling.) We probably scared them a little as we came up fast behind them and began talking. Hahaha. As we began to converse, they told us they had moved into OUR SAME CONDOMINIUM a week earlier! They listened intently as we gave a brief overview of the restoration of the gospel and how the restored gospel blesses the family. The father of the family happily responded that we could visit them the next Sunday and they gave us both of their numbers. There was a great, great spirit in that space on the side of the street. DO YOU GUYS KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO TEACH INSIDE OF THE CONDOMINIUMS?! The Lord lets us know very very clearly when there are unplanned opportunities to find and teach and testify that He does not want us to pass up. Our ward mission leader said something yesterday that really made me ponder. The Lord has many blessings planned for specific moments for each one of us. However, if we are not prepared when that moment comes, we may forfeit those specific blessings.

There are so many things that Heavenly Father has been helping me refine these past months. Talking with everyone is one of them, and another is asking references from everybody–even street contacts. We cannot control others’ reactions, but it allows us to widen our teaching pool in order to find more people who ARE ready to accept the restored gospel. We served the bishop’s wife last week and she pointed out a house a few houses down from hers of a family whom she didn’t know but who was new in the neighborhood. We knocked the door at the beginning of this week and met a great woman named Neisy. She lives with her young daughter and her husband and the wife of her brother-in-law is a member of the church. She invited us in and we shared the first half of the restoration with her. She is very positive and we hope to be able to teach her husband this week as well.

Marco Antonio came to church on Sunday! He brought two of his young daughters. In Gospel Principles, our ward mission leader taught about exaltation. We (okay I) was a little worried about how Marco Antonio would receive the doctrine of deification but he just has a GREAT spirit about him. He had great questions and our ward mission leader gave great answers with scriptures and Marco thoroughly enjoyed the class. He had to leave after the second hour to take his daughters back to their mother’s house, but he told us that this next Sunday he’s going to bring his other daughter with him.

Steven also came to church! He`s 10 years old and he came with his oldest brother, who is active in the church. He’s so cute and SO intelligent and spent the walk home telling us about the 10 people who had lamps and some had just a little oil and couldn’t get in the door. Haha, I love children. They have such good, innocent desires. His grandfather, the father of all the Flores family, told our ward mission leader after our visit that he feels and knows it’s time for his family to return to the church.

I have been recognizing how the Lord works in the details of our lives, and especially my mission. He helps us find those who receive our message in all different ways–many of which are the LEAST expected. I was also reading a great talk this week titled “The Apostasy and the Restoration” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. I recognized more clearly how many truths were automatically confused/lost/changed when knowledge/understanding of who our Father is and HOW he is was lost. I have never taken so much thought in the first principle of Lesson 1–God is our loving Heavenly Father–as I have this week. It is one of the doctrines that the world understands the least. I love my Father. I know that He is perfect, as is His plan for us, His children. I love Him for sending me a Savior to provide a redemption of all things that separate me from my Father! I will testify of this to the world forever.

All my love,

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

Mi Hermana Hernandez

Mi Hermana Hernandez

I JOY in the message of the restoration of the gospel

Hi family!!

WELL, this week was just great. My new companion is Hermana Hernandez, from El Salvador. We feel SO BLESSED to be together! (Which means we won’t be together for long. Haha.) We are learning a lot together, and she is truly a friend who helps lift me.

Last night we taught Marino and his family about the law of chastity. I love something my companion said to his daughters–We are daughters of a GOD and therefore should act like princesses. Think about how an earthly princess acts–she always watches what she says, how she acts, the things she does. So then we, being celestial princesses, should watch those things even more. A good question to ask ourselves is “if the Savior were with me right now, would I be proud of what I am wearing/watching/thinking/listening to?” I always want to be able to answer YES to this question! I always want to be worthy to have the spirit with me. And of course this question applies to us ALL.

Hermana Hernandez and I have been visiting with our great members this week and are working on helping them recognize our good desires to work hard and be obedient, as this area does not have a great history in terms of missionary obedience. We have been receiving great references and contacting a LOT as well. It has become something so natural and it makes you so happy, being able to meet people in all places, listen to their stories and their feelings, and share small principles of the restored gospel and HOW they were restored. I JOY in the message of the Restoration! Speaking of the Restoration, we taught Andrea, a street contact, the Restoration in her home this week and everything just came together perfectly in the lesson. Heavenly Father blessed her with His spirit and such a clear understanding. She told us afterwards that what made her believe that the Mormon church was the true church on the Earth was that it all made sense, the authority, prophets, the true gospel, everything. And she told us she had learned a lot about Jesus Christ–the Restoration lesson made her meditate a lot and learn new things about the Atonement. I felt so happy when she said that!! Our true message is about Jesus Christ! If the gospel had not been restored, the world would not be able to fully understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, nor his mission. I LOVE THE GOSPEL! AH!

Every day is so exciting. Finding unexpected opportunities to testify and meet families of potential investigators. One of our appointments fell the other night, and we started making our way towards our backup plan. We stopped suddenly in the middle of the street and went to contact a house that had called our attention. When no one answered, we both slowly turned and looked at the house directly behind us. We knocked and a young father came to the door. We began to converse with Him and testify of our message. He looked as us in surprise and told us he was living alone and had separated from his wife just a few months before. Then he looked at the ground and back at us and told us he wished to share something personal about his day: “This morning,” he said, “I woke up without a single desire to go to work. I just didn’t want to go! But I got up and said a quick prayer in my heart asking the Lord to help me get through the day. And do you know what? This was the best day I’ve had in my work. I sold more than I ever have before. I got home and said thank you to God in my head. I told him that I knew I needed to be nearer to Him and go to church. But I needed someone to help me begin and someone to help me stay firm!” He looked right at us and said, “I just didn’t think the answer to my prayer would come so quickly.” This time it was our turn to be surprised! I felt such a strong confirmation that God is in the details of our lives. When we pray for opportunities to share the gospel and then listen for the promptings of that still, small voice, God will allow us to find those whom He is preparing.

My mission is a precious treasure to me. We are working hard out here, always looking for ways to be better. Sometimes I still feel so imperfect and inadequate! But I am always, always strengthened. The sacrament is so sacred to me. I love the scriptures! I love my Heavenly Father and the son He sent to Earth for me and each one of us. I know that He has descended below all things in order to know how to succor and understand the children of His Father. I know that this is the true church of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I love my companion! I hope you all are reading your scriptures, conversing with our Heavenly Father each day, and rejoicing in the sacrament and every opportunity that God gives us to learn and be better. I love you all!!

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

Last picture with Hna Granados :(

Last picture with Hna Granados 😦

How the poor missionaries in the nice condominium cut their grass.

How the poor missionaries in the nice condominium cut their grass.

Zone activity last Monday! Football and Mexican tacos

Zone activity last Monday! Football and Mexican tacos

Hermana Granados!

Hermana Granados!

A few p-days ago!

A few p-days ago!

Denisha at her birthday party! We helped make her cake and led the party games. (Hna. Granados has a GIFT for that)

Denisha at her birthday party! We helped make her cake and led the party games. (Hna. Granados has a GIFT for that)

Our neighborhood

Our neighborhood

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true

Hi everyone!

My heart is so full today. We found out last night that Hermana Granados will be leaving the area tomorrow and I have been meditating all of the ways the Lord has blessed my life through her. My Heavenly Father knows exactly where I lack and who can help me to become more like Him. Hermana Granados has helped me learn selfless service and pure love for others, and I am forever grateful for her joyful personality. She has so many gifts and I have been so blessed to learn and serve at her side.

We had a great week this week. I don’t have much time to write so I’ll make this all fast! Marino is progressing SO FAST. He came to church in a TIE on Sunday, stayed for all three hours, has been doing daily scripture study with his family and went to the Father`s day activity on Saturday with the brethren outside the temple. We had an activity on Thursday night and he and his wife invited four neighbors from the 1st floor of their house who came and enjoyed the message and had fun playing games afterwards with some of the members. We visited them yesterday and their son gave the message. 🙂 It is beautiful the way the Lord has been working in his heart and his family for this past year or so that he has been investigating the church.

We visited the Barrios family this week as well and were able to teach their father as well! We read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon with them and invited them to church the following day and to be baptized if they come to know that this is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They accepted and yesterday Ismelda and her daughter walked into church yesterday half-way through sacrament meeting. 🙂

Church was great yesterday! We were filled with joy and gratitude as 6 of our investigators were able to attend and also Maura, a less active who we have been working with. We also had a great meeting with the Bishop and were able to receive counsel from him about how to work best with the ward and in which neighborhoods of our area he has felt we should work.

As a mission, we are reading assigned Preach My Gospel chapters each week, and this last week we studied Obedience and Diligence, attributes of Christ. I love that obedience is an act of faith–we are not expected to always understand exactly why we are asked to do something. Willing obedience protects us from temptation and allows the Lord to bless us. The area presidency made a video for all of the wards here a few months ago and one of the counselors’ wives commented in the video that every time we are not obedient to God`s commandments, we rob him of the opportunity to bless us. I love that! I was impacted by D&C 105:6, Mosiah 15:7, and D&C 82:9-10. May we follow the example of our Savior and let our will be absorbed in the will of our Father in Heaven. He loves us and He knows better than us–His instructions will ALWAYS protect us and allow us to follow the path that will lead us safely back to our Heavenly home. I love Him! I love my Savior. I love my companion. I testify that this is the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit testifies to me each day that Joseph Smith was a prophet! That the Book of Mormon is true! Heavenly Father will answer anyone who desires to know if this is true. I love you all! Thank you for everything.

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

The efforts we make to seek the Lord each day are worth it

Hi family!!

WELL this week was super great. Being a missionary is just the BEST. Anyone who is deciding between going and not going … y’alll already know what I’m gonna say. To clarify, missions are not the EASIEST. But they are the most gratifying, satisfying, fulfilling, and elevating. I thank my Father in Heaven each day for calling me to serve as a missionary. And you know what? We are ALL called to be missionaries. Let us always pray and search for opportunities to share the gospel. God will provide them for each one of us.

We had Family Home Evening again with the Flores family and this time we prepared to teach “The Restoration. “ Upon arriving, Hermano Luis was joking about giving the message and we laughed along until we all sat down and he whipped out the agenda he had made and his photocopies of Book of Mormon pages to teach us all about the authority. It was SO SINCERE and although we were a little surprised to hear that there were TWO churches that have the authority … (we cleared that one up …) we were so so grateful with Heavenly Father for touching their hearts! His inactive son and his nonmember wife came home early from work to be in the lesson with us and his son, Ivan, was so supporting and loving and patient in his effort to help his father teach his lesson. Ivan thanked us for being there and told us that although it might have to be a patient battle with their family to return to church, it was one worth fighting. We ended the night laughing as usual. They are great.

Maria Elena and Vivian are doing well, but attendance has been a trial for them. At noon on Saturday, Maria Elena called us crying and told us her mother had passed away. We hurried over. We found her very beside herself, kneeling at the side of her bed. She asked us to pray and ask Heavenly Father to bring her mother back. We looked at each other and my companion offered the prayer. I was reminded of the words of modern prophets on prayers being in the name of Christ and knew that we had to follow the spirit and ask for the things the Savior desired in our prayer. My companion offered a sweet prayer asking comfort for her family and we together discussed the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the hope that our Heavenly Father´s plan of salvation gives us when a loved one is lost for a short time. We shared “Because of Him” at the end. That video is very inspired. I know that we may not be able to feel the pain that Mary felt in that moment and feels right now, but the Lord Jesus Christ can and has and does.

We went back with one of the families we contacted last week several times this week but found the house empty every time. On Saturday we passed by and found the mother and her two daughters at home! We shared the glorious message of the Restoration of the gospel. They have not grown up in a very religious household but the Restoration answered many questions they have had. I know that this message gives others hope of finding the knowledge of Christ and his gospel that will permit their families to live eternally at our Heavenly Father´s side. We met the father of the family and their other son as we were about to leave and set a date to return to teach them all. Every finding opportunity we have is such a blessing from Heavenly Father. We may put in a lot of effort, but it is always HIS hand that puts families in our path and the spirit in their hearts.

This week, we also had a great multi-zona with President Smith. It was beautiful. He spoke a lot about working with the members and earning their confidence and also teaching investigators, not lessons and really being worthy of and listening to the spirit to discern the needs of those whom we are teaching. He finished by sharing an experience from his own mission. It was an answer to many of my prayers. It lifted our spirits and we had a great night of work.

I studied President Eyring´s talk, “The Comforter”, this week and one of the messages that I pulled from it that struck me deeply was a realization of how perfectly the Lord has made me rely on Him throughout my mission. I have passed many moments feeling lonely so that I could learn how to rely on the Savior and the Spirit. We pray and plan and work hard to find that it is always the Lord who puts the harvest on our backs. Each convert is HIS convert. Each success is His. He is the Lord of His vineyard! I know this. He has suffered my same afflictions and worries and stresses and knows my joys and triumphs. I studied Mosiah 14 this morning and it impacted me greatly. The efforts we make to feel the spirit and search the Lord each day are WORTH IT.

All my love!

Hermana Christine Marcheschi