What we share and teach is the only means by which the children of God will find true happiness

HII!!!

How is everyone? We are doing GREAT here in Jardines. The mission is the best place to be. Every week SO much happens and we experience so many great things that I never know where to start. It is sufficient to say that this week was very challenging. But not a bad week in the least. 🙂 We spent every day prayerfully searching for more families to teach, and received LOTS of rain. And closed doors. But Sunday we felt like Heavenly Father handed us opportunities to find and teach–and other tender mercies–on a silver platter.

We are working with the Flores Family right now that is FULL of spunk. Hahaha, they are CRAZY. We die laughing with them. They have not been to church in years and have not received missionaries in a long time. We had Family Home Evening with them on Tuesday night. Only one of the grandsons is going to church currently. We were prepared for the message but Moroni, the grandson, pulled out an agenda for the whole night and had us all read in Genesis about Adam and Eve. The best part is that we sat down to begin and MORE and MORE family members and friends that live in the house came to join. Moroni, 14, led a discussion about what we learned. Although there was a lot of … false doctrine thrown around, haha, we were able to take a short time to share what has been revealed about Adam and Eve in 2 Nephi 2. It was really special. The Book of Mormon gives us SO many answers to the questions of our souls. The mother/grandmother expressed to us her desires to return to church with all of her family and for her other grandson to be baptized. The spirit is working in their hearts and it is beautiful to be able to witness it all!

Last Sunday, Alejandro, a member from a different city came to our ward and told us he was studying and living here in Xela and wanted us to teach his brother! He gave us the house number and the name of their private condominium. On Wednesday night our appointments fell and we went to look for the house in the pouring rain. We went in and walked up and down the streets. After 10 minutes of searching and soaking ourselves, we could NOT find it. It was the end of a hard day and I felt like all of our efforts that day to find and teach had been in vain. We decided to leave the condominium, a little discouraged. Right as we were walking out, Alejandro walked in the gate’s door! He showed us his house and we set a date to return and teach him and his brother. We left the condominium and I thanked my Heavenly Father. I felt the spirit whisper in my mind and in my heart, “I am aware of you. I am watching over you.” It was something SO small that was very significant for me. I know that our Heavenly Father is in even the smallest details of our lives.

The next day, we went back to teach Alejandro and his brother, Ulysses, and found that Alejandro had invited us to a study group with a bunch of his university friends so we could share with them our message. It was SO SPECIAL. They had about 10 minutes, so we shared “Because of Him” and gave a brief overview of Lesson 1, the Restoration, and read from and testified of the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for the Spirit that testifies and speaks to people’s hearts. I am grateful for the unplanned opportunity we had to teach and testify of this gospel! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

We are also working with Maria Elena and her daughter, Vivian, who have received many witnesses from the Spirit of the truthfulness of our message. Maria Elena is dating a man who doesn’t let her go to church when he is in town, though, and that has been a great challenge. She and her daughter are reading the Book of Mormon together. Pray that we might be able to help her accept this gospel through baptism! She desires to separate from her boyfriend but he won’t accept it. They want to be baptized on the 11th of July. We love them and are working closely with them.

Sunday was like the sunshine after the storm. The Solis family came to church!!!!

The Solis girls!

The Solis girls!

We have been working with them for this time I have been here in Jardines so they can return to the fold. They came with William, who is also preparing to be baptized. Throughout the day, EVERY person we spoke with wanted us to return to learn more about the restored gospel. The Lord even inspired people to talk to US to ask us about what we believe and ask if we could return. We felt very very blessed. In the night, we very prayerfully contacted and found great great families to teach. We are SO greatful. I think that Heavenly Father wanted us to really understand that we cannot do this work alone. Nothing works if we don’t depend on HIM and ask for his direction and guidance and then LISTEN to and FOLLOW the promptings of the Spirit after asking for them.

I am so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ! I have understood so much more clearly every week in my studies the role of Adam and Eve and also Jesus Christ in this whole great plan. We are ALL in a fallen state. We cannot earn anything by ourselves (Alma 22:14, Mosiah 3:19). Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ may we be saved! Many believe that the world has claim on the grace of God. But only those who keep the commandments and have faith unto repentance may receive the blessings of the grace of God in the kingdom of Heaven. I know that this church is true. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I know that our message is true–all of it. I do not fear what the world says, because I know that what we share and teach is the only means by which the children of God will find true happiness, forgiveness, and exaltation. I LOVE this gospel! I love the mission! And I love all of you. Thank for you everything!

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

With Hermana Granados in the rain

With Hermana Granados in the rain

Today we went to an abandoned train station that has a few museums inside and found this friend hidden in the back room

Today we went to an abandoned train station that has a few museums inside and found this friend hidden in the back room

One of the museums was a really interesting art exhibit. SO many hidden treasures.

One of the museums was a really interesting art exhibit. SO many hidden treasures.

Hunchback of Guatemala

Hunchback of Guatemala

We cut her hair and left her CHULA

We cut her hair and left her CHULA

True joy comes from living the gospel

Hi guys!

This week was a good week. All weeks are good, but this week Heavenly Father helped me to increase my gratitude for the sacrament and the small miracles that happen. ALSO JESSIE AND KELCY ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! Even though I won’t be there to witness it, I have witnessed their conversion–and for that I am forever grateful. I also found out today that a less active family and their family member that we taught in San Cristobal are completely active now and their family member was baptized too! Adonai Sapon, the oldest Sapon boy from San Cris, went to EFY and is working to prepare for a mission.

This work is REAL! I am so grateful to be here. I studied Jacob 5 this week and was impacted by the work done in the last dispensation in the Lord’s vineyard. The Lord is working in His vineyard. I am a witness. The fruits will always be His, but we can have joy with Him in the souls that are strengthened and brought to His side as we diligently work with all our might. This cause is so great! The most important work we can do is that of sharing the gospel. He has invited EVERY saint to join with Him in this mission. Although he has called missionaries as full-time teachers, the work of full-time finding and fellowshipping today is of the members. Do all you can to be a part! Pray for missionary experiences every DAY! They will come. The Lord WANTS to save us all and will help us to share the gospel. It is so logical.

Hermano Marino, the father of a member family who has a baptismal date right now, is progressing a lot and we were overjoyed when they entered the gates of the church and Marino was wearing a white dress shirt! He stayed for all three hours and participated a lot more yesterday in our lesson as we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was proud to show us the calendar we gave him to mark his Book of Mormon reading, as he had marked almost every single day for the last two weeks! He is great.

We are also working with Erminda, a mother and grandmother, along with one of her daughters and several grandchildren. This week she came to church for the second time and LOVED it. My companion and I both feel like we KNOW her from somewhere but can’t figure out what it is. She gives the greatest hugs. We love her. She loves the clarity of the teachings from the scriptures, something she has never found before.

I testify that the church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel! And that it was written so we could know our Savior and how to come unto Him. Joseph Smith is a prophet – as are all who have served from His day until ours. God is speaking again with His children through them. The spirit has made this known unto me. I love the gospel with all of my heart and I know that true joy comes from living it. It is how I always want to live. I love my Savior and my Father who sent Him. He has truly become salvation to me.

I love you all! Keep reading, keep praying! The answers come.

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

Making pupusas and tres leches with the Family Giron last preparation day

Making pupusas and tres leches with the Family Giron last preparation day

Hermana Manumaleuna! Divisions two weeks ago

Hermana Manumaleuna! Divisions two weeks ago

Week of the family my first week here

Week of the family my first week here

TAI! After church

TAI! After church

Hermana Granados

Hermana Granados from El Salvador

Week of the Family game night my first week here in Jardines!

Week of the Family game night my first week here in Jardines!

I love this gospel. It is perfect and eternal.

Well hi everybody!

This week was incredible. I’ve been making a mistake for my entire mission–waiting for miracles to happen instead of searching for miracles and expecting them. My change of perspective has completely changed my mission.

Our week has been full of RAIN and great, expected and unexpected opportunities to find, teach, and testify. On Tuesday, we went back to teach a street contact named Maria Elena. We taught the Restoration, and after teaching about the Great Apostasy, she asked, “so then who is the prophet today?! If there is a true church there has to a be a prophet of God here on the earth!” After recovering from the shock and joy her question caused us, we taught and testified of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She loved it. We invited her to be baptized on the 20th of June and she accepted. We explained how she can ask our Heavenly Father literal questions and He will answer her and we knelt to close with a prayer. I want to share that EVERY TIME I have witnessed an investigator ASK Heavenly Father if the church is true, if Joseph was a prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is true and then WAIT in silence for an answer before continuing the prayer, he or she has received a witness of the Holy Ghost. It is incredible. I KNOW that our Heavenly Father listens to us and ANSWERS our prayers, however trivial! Maria Elena expressed her gratitude for her answer and knowledge of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon in her prayer and described to us her overwhelming feelings. When we returned a few days later to teach her, she had asked her daughter to help her take notes on the Introduction of the Book of Mormon that we had left her, not being able to write very much herself. We taught her daughter that night as well as we shared the message of the Plan of Salvation. They are super excited and we will be working closely with them this week. 🙂

On Saturday night, our lesson plans all fell and we had the opportunity to visit a less active sister and her mother, who we had heard was very sick from several members. We could NOT find the house, but were led there through a sequence of events and were able to spend a few special moments with her, and her sister and brother-in-law. We sang a few of her mother’s favorite hymns and shared a short message. I was deeply impacted as we sang “I Am a Child of God” and understood how beautiful and universal that phrase is! We offered our help and the sister asked us to return on Monday to help her. We were privileged to be a part of the beautiful experience we had today with them and a few more of the daughters of the mother. Today will be one of her last days. We sang some hymns and were blessed to sit in on her last blessing, given by her grandson. It was beautiful and moved me more than I can ever tell in email. This earthly life is so beautifully short. But there is MORE that follows it, and it is even more beautiful than all of the beautiful we experience here. I love this gospel. It is perfect and eternal.

One scripture that has touched me this week is DyC 58:26-29. This is what makes us lifelong disciples of Christ! Doing much good of our own will and being anxiously engaged in a GREAT cause. Also 2 Ne 32:9 and 33:4 and 6. Lastly verses 10 and 11 of chapter 33. The gospel is precious to me. The mission is my treasure. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I love you all so much. Thank you for everything!

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

JESSIE y familia! My last day in Cerrito last week.

JESSIE y familia! My last day in Cerrito last week.

Shirly!!!! I would put crying faces on these all if I could

Shirly!!!! I would put crying faces on these all if I could

The Lopez Family :´(

The Lopez Family :´(

The Lucas family

The Lucas family

Our first night SOAKED in Jardines. Hermana Granados!

Our first night SOAKED in Jardines. Hermana Granados!

HERMANA BETTY!!

HERMANA BETTY!!

I love this work and I am grateful to be here

Hola family and friends!

This week was a great learning experience! I’m here in Xela in a GREAT ward of more than 200 active members and they are all great. We have many returned missionaries here in the ward and tons of awesome members who are eager to work in the Lord’s vineyard. This week was “The Week of the Family” here in Central America and we had activities each night.

Tuesday we had changes in the morning!! I left my beloved Cerrito del Maiz. We spent Monday night teaching Jessy and her daughters and saying goodbye to all of my family there. It was a great, teary night! Haha. We got to Xela and I learned I would be coming to Jardines de Xelaju with Hermana Granados! She was the previous companion of Hermana Howard. That night we had a ward activity of self-sufficiency. (Is that a real thing in English?) We made corn dogs for the snack afterwards and the Relief Society sisters showed how to make all kinds of things, from soaps to beef jerky, 72 hour kits, etc., and several families came to show the bread they make. It was great! The members are so amazing. Thursday night we had a movie night and watched “Together Forever” then split into teams and played games. It was HILARIOUS – we were all laughing so hard. Saturday night we had a cultural/talents night and all of the organizations had prepared acts. A family also sang original songs their dad had written while he sang and played guitar. It was beautiful! Our ward is truly amazing and I feel so blessed to have such great support here. Our investigators will be so blessed.

The Alvarez family came to church with us yesterday, a mother and her two daughters who are learning about the church. During Gospel Principles in the second hour, our ward mission leader talked about temple work and family history and did it in such a tender, beautiful way. It wasn’t weird at ALL for Hermana Janeth Alvarez. At the end, he told several stories of his ancestors that he had found doing family history work and they made me CRY. Haha. We feel very blessed here in Jardines with this ward. They are great and it’s always strange coming to a new area and feeling lost all the time and not knowing who all the members are nor what all the investigators’ challenges are, but I’m trying to absorb as much as I can as fast as I can so we can really begin to help these families fulfill their desires to share the gospel. I love this work and I am grateful to be here.

Hermana Marcheschi

I am SO GRATEFUL that my family is eternal

Hey guys!

Well this week was great! We had an awesome consejo de lideres on Tuesday and I learned SO much. Hermana Lopez and I have been planning nightly and weekly in a MUCH more effective manner and I just feel SO much better equipped to do all the Lord wants me to do. We talked about how finding by the Spirit is just as important as teaching by the Spirit as well. President Smith and all of our leaders are just great. I love them.

We also did divisiones this week with the sisters in Las Flores, Hermana Soto and Hermana Gibson. I got to go to Las Flores with Hermana Gibson and we had a blaast. It was so special and we felt the Spirit guiding us completely, in teaching, in finding, in planning. Mom and Dad, remember when you told me that on a mission one of the things I could find were true, good, best friends? Yep.

Talking to the fam was GREAT. It was so different than the last two times in that I just felt completely normal and peaceful, feeling able to stay completely focused on the work and also talk with my wonderful beautiful family. I am SO GRATEFUL that my family is eternal!!!!!! And I can’t express how deeply grateful I am for my mother as well. She has been my rock and my support and my greatest example in EVERYTHING and I hope to one day serve my children and fellow men and my Savior as diligently and selflessly as she does.

Wellllll, we got the changes call last night! I am leaving Cerrito after 4 changes and I am terribly sad! I have completely fallen in love with this ward and this area and all of our investigators and we have a LOT of people to visit before I leave tomorrow at 6 am for Xela. Here in Cerrito I have truly learned HOW to be a missionary. I still have a long way to go, but I will be eternally grateful for all that I have learned here, from all those around me and my amazing companions. Our zone leaders think I am going to Xela, but we will see! Wherever I go, I know the Lord has lots of work for us to do and will guide us. 🙂 PS Hermana Bullough is coming here to Cerrito with Hna. Lopez! I love this work and the mission! I love you all. Thank you for all of your love and support. Alma 34:8-17.

All my love,

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

After divisions! Yo, Hna. Gibson, Hna. Soto, Hna. Lopez

After divisions! Yo, Hna. Gibson, Hna. Soto, Hna. Lopez

Zona Huehue Centro!!! (missing a few missionaries) The BEST zone in all of mission xela...

Zona Huehue Centro!!! (missing a few missionaries) The BEST zone in all of mission xela…

5.11.15 zone mtg 2

5.11.15 sisters at zone mtg

5.11.15 with 2 women and baby

Leaders Council this week!

Leaders Council this week!

I am obsessed with Cerrito skies and I think I take more pictures of them than of me and my companion....

I am obsessed with Cerrito skies and I think I take more pictures of them than of me and my companion….

5.11.15 Cerrito skies 2

This gĂłspel brings a deep, TRUE joy

Well, this week was great. It was super trying and we worked and prayed HARD to meet our goals. We are trying to overall raise all of our numbers as a mission as President has set a great mission standard and we want to meet it with all of our hearts. We had some great GREAT lessons this week.

Hermana Jesy is progressing so fast.  After Sunday, she had LOTS of questions, haha. In our subsequent visit, we began teaching about the fast (knowing that with a huge exam she has coming up it could help her immensely). She told us that she has a blood sugar problem and has never fasted before. We taught her how and why we fast and shared Helaman 3:35. She finished reading it and loved it! Then said immediately, (get this), “I think tomorrow I will try it, fasting. I think it could really help with my test this weekend,” BEFORE we had invited her to fast. She just hears the voice of the spirit so easily. Then she asked about why we don’t drink coffee, and we explained the Word of Wisdom. She listened and added personal feelings about how great it was and how much sense it had and happily agreed to live it. Then she gave us hot chocolate because she noticed my cold. She is just one of my many precious Guatemalan mothers. 🙂 We love her so much. She is still preparing to be baptized on the 23 of May. We have already accepted that I may not be here anymore, as there are changes next Tuesday, but she will always be my convert and dear friend and mother!!

We are teaching the sisters and father of a convert in our ward and yesterday we walked almost an hour to their house for our first real lesson. We taught Lesson 1, the Restoration, and they participated and we felt the spirit. Her father wants to come with her to church on Sunday and the daughters are going to ask permission in their work to come. They all agreed to prepare for baptism. It was really special. Claudia, the member, walked us down the path a little bit after the lesson and began to cry and expressed her gratitude and excitement for her family. I can’t explain the JOY that comes from mission work, guys! It is the MOST rewarding and MOST important thing we could EVER do. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Just so you all know, I’m extending my mission to two years. This time it’s not a joke.

On Wednesday, we had interviews with President Smith. I always get so excited for interviews because I feel lifted and instructed and more able to improve as a missionary. These interviews were a blessing and a complete ANSWER to my prayers. It is sufficient to say that President helped me to recognize how the Lord feels about my work. I am so grateful for his righteousness and ability to receive revelation from the Lord for my personal growth.

I love this work, the scriptures, serving, loving, praying, studying and searching the words of prophets, old and living, learning more of and striving to be more like my Savior. I am so happy and at peace. This góspel brings a deep, TRUE joy. I am grateful for how this time is lifting, changing, fine-tuning my heart and helping me discover the beauty of the góspel when lived, as we help others discover its truthfulness and beauty as well. I love my Savior and my loving Father that sent Him. I love you all and I am grateful for your love and support and examples. Thank you for everything.

All my love,

Hermana Marcheschi

With Hermana Lopez in the rain

With Hermana Lopez in the rain

Elida y Sayli

Elida y Sayli

SAYLI! Lover of coffee and Chucky 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. We're working on it.

SAYLI! Lover of coffee and Chucky 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. We’re working on it.

Typical May-October in Huehue: unbearably hot in the morning and rainy all afternoon and night. We love it.

Typical May-October in Huehue: unbearably hot in the morning and rainy all afternoon and night. We love it.

Enemy dog turned best friend. With much patience and love and chunks of old bread offered selflessly, we can all get along.

Enemy dog turned best friend. With much patience and love and chunks of old bread offered selflessly, we can all get along.

Hermana Neild!! Divisiones. I don't remember how that's called in English.

Hermana Neild!! Divisiones. I don’t remember how that’s called in English.

Last Sunday the bishop's wife asked us to help a visiting teaching companionship who can't read or write do their visits. WE JUST LOVE THEM. Here we are with the Nicolas family. :) Stay tuned for more pictures....

Last Sunday the bishop’s wife asked us to help a visiting teaching companionship who can’t read or write do their visits. WE JUST LOVE THEM. Here we are with the Nicolas family. 🙂 Stay tuned for more pictures….

Hermana Ambrosio and Hermana Elida :)

Hermana Ambrosio and Hermana Elida 🙂

The Huehue jungle

The Huehue jungle

I love Guatemala

I love Guatemala

The Book of Mormon is a Testament of the Savior Jesus Christ

QUE ONDA?!

This week was overall a great week. On Monday, we had a great lesson with Jesy and her daughters. She read the entire chapter we left her! We taught the second half of the Restoration and it was such a beautiful experience. We told the First Vision and before we could say anything else she stopped us and said, (in my best Spanish slang translation) “Wow, how BEAUTIFUL! So Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ?!!” We testified of the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ (and all that that entails) and invited her to be baptized on the 23 of May and she accepteeddddd.

We went back on Wednesday in divisions and she told us she had been feeling a little unsure about a date so soon. Hermana Gibson told her conversion story and it was just what she needed to hear. She decided to keep preparing for the 23 of May. Something we love teaching is how to pray to ask questions and receive answers. Many people here ask for signs or understanding or that God will open their mind rather than asking specific questions, which is the easiest way to receive personal revelation! We taught Jesy how she can receive her answer. During her prayer, she asked, and waited. When she finished she was BEAMING and told us that she felt it was all true.

On Sunday, we passed by and they were all ready, Gaby (3) and Kelcy (8) all dressed up carrying coloring books and Hermana Jesy so cute. The ward was so so good to them. When your investigators come to church, it’s so crazy how closely you listen to every word of every talk to make sure they aren’t scared or confused. In sacrament everyone spoke about temples and work for the dead, in the second hour about missionary work, and the third hour, fast and fast offerings. At first we were a little worried that it would be A LOT for Jesy but during the third hour I realized that every topic had to do with something the Lord asks us to do for OTHER people! I felt such a calm reassurance and also such a joy, recognizing all of the great opportunities we have as members of the church to forget about ourselves and serve others. And I know the spirit always testifies of the truth of the doctrine, and that it would testify to Jesy as well.

I may have expressed this in part in previous weeks, but I have been studying Lesson 1, The Restoration, A LOT because it is the lesson we teach the most. I have felt so blessed with so much more understanding in these past few weeks. (Preach My Gospel is my best friend.) I have been so obsessed with analyzing what doctrines were lost during the Great Apostasy that were restored by revelation and the Book of Mormon. I was reading a devocional by Bruce R. McConkie about salvation by grace and he says that the two greatest heresies of the Great Apostasy destroyed the personal relationship between God and Man and the nature of the Godhead, and corrupted the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And I am so convinced with every fiber of my being that the Book of Mormon is a Testament of the Savior Jesus Christ. For that purpose it was written and revealed to the world, to lead ALL to salvation through Jesus Christ. I love love love teaching about and from the Book of Mormon. It has been the greatest tool in the conversion of members and investigators (and missionaries :)) alike in my mission. I am so grateful to Joseph Smith for all he did so that I and the world could KNOW Jesus Christ and lay hold upon the blessing of His atoning sacrifice. I know that we are justified and purified through the grace of God. I know that this church is true and that it is led by the Lord Jesus Christ. How blessed we are to live in this dispensation!

I love you all!! Thank you for your love and support,

Hermana Marcheschi

I love my Father in Heaven for sending us a Savior

HI all!

This week was a great week. We are making progress in the ward together with our great ward mission leader. We are striving to lift this ward together and have LOTS of great ideas. We just have to organize WHERE to start and what is most important, haha. It’s super exciting. This week we have capacitation for all the ward council with President Smith and we are SUPER excited. When we can lift the ward council we can lift the whole ward AND even more, the missionary work.

We really did have a great week in many aspects. I’ll just tell a few experiences!

On Friday night, we had 10 minutes left before 9:00 to be in the house so we went to visit an inactive mother and her daughter and found an hermana in the street on our way and took her with us! She told us how they had visited this inactive sister many times but she never comes to church, no matter what they do. We showed “Because He Lives.” At the end, the sister who accompanied us bore her testimony and invited them to church on Sunday. On Sunday morning, LUCY AND HER DAUGHTER AND HER GRANDAUGHTER WALKED INTO CHURCH. I was SO happy for them and for the sister that had invited them with us. It was an answer to our prayers and increased the sisters faith in the power of visiting and inviting–even when hope appears to be lost. 🙂

Earlier that day, all of our 5 o clock plans fell and my companion suggested we knock the door of a street contact. I (sadly) agreed with like 50% faith…. We knocked and the daughter came to the door and remembered us and told us to come in! We sat down and asked a few questions. She told us she had heard that we believe in eternal marriage. We had a wonderful lesson with her and taught her about the restoration of the gĂłspel. It may sound funny that we taught that to answer her question but I PROMISE Lesson 1 can be tailored to whatever need. It is so beautiful. We teach Lesson 1, The Restoration, more than ANY OTHER LESSON, so we have been studying it a lot in these past few months. I have come to understand it with such a clarity and it has become one of the most beautiful doctrines to me. I am so grateful that the Lord has called prophets again on the earth to teach his pure gĂłspel. One of the doctrines most lost/confused in the great apostasy was the nature of the godhead, and understanding of the plan of salvation and the ATONEMENT. How infinitely BLESSED we are to live in a time when the fulness of the gĂłspel is upon the earth.

I testify that The Church of JesĂşs Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of the Lord, JesĂşs Christ, upon the earth. I testify that Joseph Smith is a prophet. The fulness of the gĂłspel was restored through him. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It is so sweet to me. I love my Father in Heaven for sending us a Savior. I love my Savior for suffering, dying, and resurrecting to save us all from death, both physical and spiritual. Without the Atonement of JesĂşs Christ, we would be bound by sin and death for all of eternity. Without the Lord, we are and would always be nothing! This truth has dawned upon me profoundly this week during my studies and our lessons. Seeking that JesĂşs, of whom the prophets and apostles have spoken from the beginning of time, is the answer to all of our struggles, sorrows, and sins. I love Him. He has become my dearest friend and my salvation.

Thank you for all of your love and support!

All my love,

Hermana Christine Marcheschi

Hey Mom and Dad? Remember that circular piece of metal we have on our stove? Yeah, I figured out what it's for. Keep it safe for me....

Hey Mom and Dad? Remember that circular piece of metal we have on our stove? Yeah, I figured out what it’s for. Keep it safe for me….

Tortilla-ing just brings everyone together

Tortilla-ing just brings everyone together

Making Tamales with Hermana Lopez and the Lopez family

Making Tamales with Hermana Lopez and the Lopez family

Tied it.  Ha ha. Ha

Tied it. Ha ha. Ha

4.20.15 Making tamales with the Lopez family

4.20.15 Making tamales 4

We would to God that we could persuade all to believe in Christ

Hi everyone!

This week was a huge rollercoaster for us and for me especially. We are trying to perfect our ability to have faith in and rely on the Lord. Our week was just PACKED with learning opportunities.

First, on Tuesday, we had a leaders’ council with President and the assistants. It was really really good. I went with a few specific questions I really needed answered and every single thing that was talked about was an answer to my question. One of the biggest changes we have been implementing in our daily work is the WAY we plan at night and study for our investigators separately and together in the morning, and receiving specific revelation for them. President taught us the process of receiving revelation (and more and more) and working through the spirit and I feel so much better equipped to teach my investigators.

We planned a great lesson for one of our progressing investigators, Cecy Herrera, who has been to church a lot in the past but has never accepted a baptismal date. We went to the lesson with the YW president and throughout the lesson, the spirit was very strong. At the end, Hna. Lopez was prompted to tell Cecy about how we found her. (We were at the house of the YW president and the RS president (the YW president’s mom) and after we prayed together about a list of names they had given us, we were all prompted to circle Cecy´s name. The Lord literally sent us to her.) Cecy began to cry and we were all crying and we asked her if she knew the Book of Mormon was true. She said yes. We asked if she knew that the church was true. Again, yes. She told us she knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. We asked her if she felt the need to be baptized by somebody with the authority of God. She looked at us all and said yes. We put a date and agreed to fast with her until her family will support her fully. It was one of the most beautiful lessons and we were SO grateful for the spirit that worked in Cecy.

Sunday was also really special for us. I especially was praying to be filled with peace that day. During our study, the spirit helped us plan a new way to share the video “Because He Lives.” We planned it all out and when we were out working, ALL of our citas fell except for the last one. Even though I feel like I have contacted every house in our area, we began contacting. I felt SO peaceful and was given the ability to share our message SO clearly. I truly felt lifted and I was so grateful. We were contacting on a street I hadn’t visited in a while when a woman opened her gate to us. We began talking and she told us her mother was a member when she was very young, but they stopped going to church when she was 6 or 7. She let us in and we shared “Because He Lives” exactly how we had felt prompted to plan it in the morning (with a few li’l twists from the spirit) and I HAVE NEVER FELT THE SPIRIT MORE STRONGLY IN MY WHOLE MISSION. We testified of the Savior and then of HOW we have gained that testimony of Him–from the Book of Mormon. I don’t even remember exactly what we said, but they were not our words. She told us to come back on Friday so we could share it with her husband as well. We walked out of that lesson feeling SO blessed! I am so grateful for the way in which the Lord guides this work and allows us to find people who are prepared to hear His voice.

One of the biggest personal discoveries I have been making in this last week is the reality of the power of the Book of Mormon. It was written to testify not of Joseph Smith (although it is a convincing fruit of the restoration) but of JESUS CHRIST. I mean, obviously, hahah, but this week my mind has been opened even further to understand how to use the Book of Mormon more powerfully in our teaching. I am SO GRATEFUL for the way in which the Lord is opening my understanding! And ability as a missionary! One of my favorite verses from this week’s study is found in Jacob 1.

4 And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.

5 For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.

6 And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.

7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.

8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my brother Nephi.

These prophets had SO much faith in and love for Jesus Christ and for US. I am so so so so eternally and immeasurably grateful for the scriptures! For old and modern prophets! For Jesus Christ! He lifts me in every way! I would be nothing without Him. I love you all! I hope you are studying the Book of Mormon every day! If you aren’t, I invite you to start. 🙂 It’s the best.

All my love,

Hermana Christine (who is that?) Marcheschi

Hermana Gibson!

Hermana Gibson!

At "Pomodoro" with the zone in between General Conference sessions

At “Pomodoro” with the zone in between General Conference sessions

Guatemalan smile.

Guatemalan smile.

My fish.  My friend.

My fish. My friend.

All of the sisters in Huehue after a multi-zona conference with President a few weeks ago

All of the sisters in Huehue after a multi-zona conference with President a few weeks ago

Juanita cooking Semana Santa bread. The rico-est of all ricos.

Juanita cooking Semana Santa bread. The rico-est of all ricos.

Saturday processions last week

Saturday processions last week

I believe in Christ

Hey family!

How are you all? We are doing so so well out here in Cerrito. This weekend was better than Christmas. After the long-awaited conference had ended we all wanted to cry. It’s so great how as a missionary you just feel a HUNGER for the words of the living prophets and leaders of this church. It is more satisfying and joy-filling than any earthly thing.

I learned A LOT and I stressed this morning thinking how I would communicate it all to you in my email so I decided I’ll just share a little. Hahah.

At this point in my mission I have been seeing so clearly how much I lack to be the person and missionary I want to be. It is interesting how we sometimes feel worse about our weaknesses as we come closer to Christ! I have been tempted to feel discouraged by my imperfections and to compare my experiences with those of other missionaries, here and in other parts of the world. Maybe in the letter we missionaries send home everything looks inspiring and beautiful and wonderful!! But each day, pressing questions are asked in each of our hearts. Am I doing enough? Am I the missionary the Lord needs me to be? Is he pleased with my work today? What can I do better?

One principle that is really being engraved on my heart is the principle of relying completely on the Lord. We are ALL sinners who repent and daily try to be better. I love Elder Renlund’s talk. We are all far from the perfection that God plans for us.  We ALL need the Atonement. We are all lost and need to be found. And Heavenly Father is watching and waiting anxiously for our return. When we start the walk back, He WILL run to us and embrace us in His loving arms!

I was profoundly touched by Elder Holland’s and President Uchtdorf’s talks. We were NEVER meant to just jump as high as we could, grapple for a moment, then fall. That is NOT the divine plan of our Father! IF we jump, Jesus Christ WILL grasp us, hold us, and lift us to eternal life. We are all SAVED by the grace of God, made possible by Jesus Christ’s part in His plan. Grace is what unlocks the gates of Heaven. We are all dependent upon it. Even if we did ALL we could possibly do, those gates would STILL be locked before us. President Uchtdorf said something like, “We all come short! We are all unclean! We are all unworthy to enter into the heavens.” We cannot earn our way to heaven. Grace is our only hope and the path of discipleship leads us to become like our Father. I think I was most impacted by President Uchtdorf’s talk. De verdad. I came to understand how FULLY God and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us equally, and how completely we all depend upon His grace to be saved after all that we can do. Although–they do not wait until we have done all we can do to help us, lift us, embrace us.

Something that also struck me during Elder L. Tom Perry´s talk is that we ALL wear the same jersey as children of God! We are all trying to find happiness and a way back to God! As missionaries our goal should never be to persuade others that we are correct, but help them to understand God´s great and eternal plan of happiness and salvation, and help them live His commandments.

I also loved the principle taught in Obispo Causse´s and Elder Andersen´s talks, about ¨hearing the music¨ of the gospel, seeing and REALLY seeing, hearing and REALLY hearing and understanding. I felt slightly melancholy pondering this principle, feeling so disappointed because of the beautiful experience lost by many of those around me who cannot yet comprehend the beauty of the gospel enough to commit themselves to really hearing the music. It moved me to want to HELP them hear, to teach more than just the steps of the dance. The gospel should ALWAYS be wonderful and breathtaking to us! If it is not, it is on us to make it wonderful again. Discover and rediscover. Forever. I love when Obispo Causse quoted “I Stand All Amazed.” That is how I felt after this conference. I too stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me… It is WONDERFUL to me!

I believe in Christ–my Lord, my God!

My feet he plants on gospel sod.

I’ll worship him with all my might;

He is the source of truth and light.

I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.

From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,

And I shall live with joy and love

In his eternal courts above.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!

From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;

And while I strive through grief and pain,

His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

I believe in Christ; so come what may,

With him I’ll stand in that great day

When on this earth he comes again

To rule among the sons of men.

I love Jesus Christ and my Loving Father that sent Him. I know that He lives! And I am eternally grateful for Him. I love you all and I hope you are constantly striving to hear the music! To make the gospel wonderful! To let God give you all of the blessings He has. I love you all!! Thank you for everything.

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Christine Marcheschi