Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fathers day and sleeping problems

This week was a little different. Let me just say first off I am really sorry that my letters from last week are taking so long. We just never had time to send them off and then I thought I had sent them but then I saw them. I am really really sorry. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!! It's really different being away for Mother's and Father's Day. I hope that all of the fathers had a great Father's Day.

Elder Voeks had more sickness problems this week. He feels way better now though. Our investigators are doing well. They are all good people. The missionaries here are working really hard and are doing so well. Overall everything is going really well.

President and sister Allred are leaving in a week. Everyone is really sad about it. They are both so great. One of my zone leaders, Elder Funk, and my district leader, Elder Taufa, are leaving this week. I haven't sent my memory card home yet because I want to take pictures with Elder Taufa before he leaves. We are going on exchanges tomorrow. He is awesome.

Not much to tell about this week. I went on exchanges with Elder Whipple who is one of the assistants to the president the other day. We drove through a neighborhood with the biggest and coolest houses I have ever seen. I wish I would have had my camera. The houses were huge. They had gates and were mansions for sure. A little big for my taste but really awesome.

The weather down here hasn't been too bad this week. It really hasn't been humid even though it has been hot. There hasn't been any rain or thunderstorms. I haven't seen rain for 2 months!!! Life feels so strange without rain. It's just a completely different world. We are not going to have rain or thunder anytime in the next week according to what we have heard.

I love our ward. There are some great familys and the bishop is a wonderful man. Almost everyone is genuinely kind and loving toward each other. There are some interesting people however. It is just a fun ward to be in. Some of the members in our ward are such amazing cooks. I have had some delicious meals while I have been here. However I miss my parents cooking so much. It was always really good.

Anyway. STORY TIME!! Elder Voeks has been having trouble falling asleep for the past week and a half. So he was told by President Allred to start taking Tylenol P.M. In some cases the first night you take it it can make you a little loopy. So Elder Voeks decided to take it. About a half and hour later I turn off the light to go to sleep. Elder Voeks then starts saying how he can't go to sleep and how he just wants to talk. He is so loopy at this point. I don't want to say he was high (sp?) but he totally was. He started saying the most random and hilarious things. He would start talking about one thing and then he would talk about another thing completally different than the previous subject. I was laughing so hard at some of the things he was saying. Yet I was trying to be quite because I knew that eventually he would fall asleep.

He said so many things that were funny but I will talk about a few. He started talking to me about how we can only pray in one place. Then I was playing along at the time and told him that we could pray anywhere. He then swore at me. It was hilarious. Elder Voeks is such a good guy and is always so respectable that I was shocked when he said what he said to me. He had no control over anything he did or said. A few minutes later he started throwing things at me from his side of the room. I had to take all of the stuff off of his table next to his bed. Then he tried to call President Allred to tell him that he wasn't asleep. I had to yank the phone out of his hands. I was so worried that he was going to do something really stupid because he was so unpredictable. After a few more minutes of talking he said he needed water. I told him I would get it but he said he wanted to and sounded more mentally together than he did before. He takes one step off of his bed and falls to the ground. I say his name a few times then turn on the light. He then says "I think I am on the floor." I help him back into his bed and turn off the light. A few minutes later he gets mad at me and asks me why I pushed him out of his bed. Eventually he fell asleep. I wish that I could have had a tape recorder for all of the things that he said. It was so funny. So long story short he slept wonderfully and has been feeling progressively better ever since.

Our investigators are doing well. Cathy is really working hard to get baptized. It is a great area. I have said this a million times but it really is. Most of the people are great and the missionaries are all awesome. This mission has alot of really great missionaries. I am so blessed to be in this mission.

So life goes well. I was going to write more but my journal is in the car. I will send home my memory card this week. I really just want pictures with Elder Taufa before he leaves though. Again I apologize for sending my letters late. Especially my Father's Day card. I love you all and have a great week.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life in the South

This past week was a little different. My poor companion feels so sick and can't do too much. Also a few days ago he got food poisoning and was up all night. I really hope he gets feeling better. He loves doing the work but our doctor told him that he must take 24 hours to rest. He is not happy about that. Doing this is just about the first thing we have done besides church. Life is good though. I'm keeping busy by studying and such. He seems like he is feeling better today so that is great.

We are busy here. Even though Elder Voeks is sick we are still really busy. I feel so bad for not sending my memory card but we have been so busy and our district leader leaves soon so I am going to get pictures with him and his companion. His name is Elder Taufa. I believe I have mentioned him before. He is a great guy.

Like I said it was a different week. I enjoyed it but I felt more lazy because of Elder Voeks being sick. This week will be alot more productive. Our investigators are doing well and some are really starting to show interest and progress. It is wonderful out here to see the gospel change peoples lives. I probably say that in every email. We had zone conference. It was my first and President and Sister Alred's last. I love them and I haven't been here for that long so I feel really sorry for those who are real close to them. I love the way they run this mission. He makes sure people follow the rules but he always tells us; "just be missionaries." If we have things that might be borderline against some rules or not following rules as long as it isn't something huge if we clarify a prompting with him he usually lets the mission "be missionaries." At the same time he wants everyone to follow the rules unless you feel a prompting or clarify it with leadership. This mission is run extremally well.

Zone conferance was wonderful. Full of great talks and workshop classes. I enjoyed everything. It was sad that it was their last zone conferance though. I believe they actualy leave next week. It's so sad. I have a good feeling about the new mission president and his wife though. You can tell alot from a picture and they look very faithful and loving. I haven't been out for long but Elder Voeks is a great trainer so I don't feel that green. I still have so much to learn. That's the great thing about a mission is you are never done learning.

No storms yet. The sky is beautiful here. Sunsets amaze me again and again. It has been hot though. About 98-101 at the hotest part of the day. It is so nice that we are in a car area. Having a car that has air conditioning is a huge blessing. Our apartment is air conditioned as well. I am hoping so much for a thunderstorm to role through. Elder Voeks says there hasn't been one in a while. I hope that there are no hurricanes this year. Last year Ike did so much damage. The mission turned into a relief and service mission for a few months in almost all areas to help with the relief effort. Galveston was hit hard last year. Everything is organized so well though. The missionaries were sent to safe areas and no one was hurt.

We have a new mission doctor his name is Brother Espiratu. His wife is also a mission doctor part of the time. They are so nice and loving. Elder Voeks and I along with the Vietnamese Elders in our zone were invited to a surprise party Brother Espiratu was throwing for his wife celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. It was at a very nice country club. A huge beautiful room. They are both doctors and make lots of money but you wouldn't know it. They don't have anything that is super expensive or flashy. This party however was the most fancy and nicest thing I have ever been to. The men wore suits and the ladys wore prom like dresses. The food was provided and it was so fancy. It would have been no fun still if the people wouldn't have been so great. There were 150 people mostly consisting of family and extended family. Every person that I saw was fun, sincerely kind, and loving. I had so much fun and all I did was sit, talk, and eat. I wish that every party or gathering could be filled with the amount of sincere care and love and fun that was present at this party. It was wonderful.

This is how my week went. Just a total random comment and thought is that the people here are generally very open to hear what you have to say and I have only once had a door shut in my face. Which is a huge blessing.

Keep working hard everybody. I love you all. Thank you so much for sending me things and letters. If I haven't said this, congratulations to all those who graduated. Life gets better after high-school.

love yall,
Elder Devon J. Marr

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Busy Week

Dear family, friends, and readers,

This week was very busy. Elder Voeks and I had much to do and many people to see. Just to get this out there right now I am sorry that I have not sent my memory card home. I will make sure I will do it this week. Last week was so busy that any time not working was spent studying for two different talks.
First I believe on Tuesday Elder Voeks and I spoke at a funeral. Actually I don't remember if that was this week or last week. If it was this week here is the explanation. We were asked to speak at the funeral of a lady who we never met. Her daughters are almost all members that Elder Voeks has met a few times. It was a little awkward. We were asked to speak on the plan of salvation. Our teaching went well but it was still a little strange.
Second was a fireside. Elder Voeks and I have been working on a fireside ever since I arrived here. We tried to make it the best we possibly could with a powerpoint presentation and videos. It was on the Book of Mormon and was a sort of introduction to it. We invited members, less actives, recent converts, and investigators. We also invited missionaries from other areas to bring their investigators and such. The fireside consisted of two talks, an explanation for the Book of Mormon, and testimonies. The videos didn't work but everything else worked out perfectly. President and Sister Alred gave there testimonies and attended so that was great. At the end one of our investigators who I love so much gave her testimony before the closing prayer. It was so powerful and she is so great I can't wait till I can tell you everything about her but it would take far too long. This was Cathy if I have spoken of her before. The fireside went great and Elder Voeks was very relieved.
There is another experience which we had but it would take far too long to explain so next week I will be sending two emails one having the full account of what happened.
This week was wonderful. Life goes extremely well. The only thing that is a pain is that letters take about 8 days to get to me. I wish they would get here faster. To end I apologize to those who have written me who have not been written back. I will try my best this week to get those letters out. I am so glad that we get to send out an email. This would take ages to write.

Elder Marr

P.S. I am sorry my emails are so long and sporadic. Good luck this week!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mission Week 2

Hello all. This week was interesting. Everything was pretty normal mission I am told. So basically amazing. Life is going well. We are successful and the mission as a whole is doing amazing. The weather has also been perfect. It hasn't been nasty hot. It is about as hot as a summer day in Washington. The sky is always beautiful. I am so glad to be here.
Every week we sing or play bingo at the retirement home. This week one of the days we sang. Our companionship and two other companionships sing and direct and help with bingo. The ladies at the retirement home were not so nice this week. There was one in particular that kept talking really loudly about how she didn't like one of the sisters. One of the funniest parts was when Elder Voeks called out what song we were going to sing and the one lady said; "We don't have time for that!" We had a half hour left and the song was "love one another." It was so funny. Bingo was good. The one lady doesn't play bingo so everyone gets along pretty well.
This week has been full of great experiences. Except Elder Voeks got sick. His throat got infected so he was put on medication yesterday. We haven't been able to get much done the past few days because of him being sick. I am glad he is getting better though. He was so mad when the doctor for the mission told him to stay home even though he felt like poo.
We had a ward carnival on Friday. We had a ton of people there and an investigator with her family. It was great. I had alot of fun. The ward is great and I love the people. The couples are mostly pretty young about late twenties to mid thirties. They are all very nice and very loving toward the missionaries. We get lots of referrals from the ward members which is great. It shows that they really like us and trust us. It is a great ward.
For those of you who are still reading I want to tell you about the houses here. Living in the surrounding Houston, Texas area and towns is cheap. To add on to this the general income for a family here is pretty high. Now add on very low cost houses. The houses here are dream homes. I have seen too many homes to count that I dream o f living in. I have been into about 6 houses on my mission. This is not counting apartments. Three of them in particular are astonishing. A house that we went to yesturday has a stone archway above the door. The door is about 2 ft. taller and a little wider. Inside of the home are beautiful decorations and is built wonderfully. The nicer houses here are all different but follow the same theme. Because the housing is so cheap people can really decorate how they want. Most people decorate their homes wonderfully. The homes that I have seen here are perfect. They are not too big or too small.
I apologize if I got a little worldly or wasted time in this email. You just have to know about the homes here. I am so happy to be on my mission and to be here. I miss all of you however and I hope that you all are having a wonderful time. The harder you work the happier you will be.

Love yall,

Elder Devon Marr

P.S. Mail to this adress instead of the other one. They will get to me alot faster.

1217 westwood dr.
#1812 Rosenberg, TX 77471