Monday, August 24, 2009


I have enjoyed parts of this week very much but it has been slow. School starts here for the kids today so lots of people were out shopping and their schedules were not set. This next week will be a much more successful week that this week. This area has been really sad. Especially this past week. The economy is hitting a lot of the people we teach hard. The couple that is getting married is not anymore anytime soon because of their financial situation and the finances of their families. Also some other people we teach are starting to sell anything they can to buy groceries. It is a sad situation. The people have hope that they will find something in the future. Especially since all the people that are having troubles that are close to me have skills that will allow them to find decent-good jobs eventually.
On a lighter (sp) note, P-day was really fun this week. We played volleyball and basketball. I always have a blast on P-days. E.Voeks is doing well. He loves his area and they just had a baptism this past Saturday. He is loving it and I think that he needed to get away from Rosenberg because he had been here so long. Elder Garcia is starting to like the area more and more because of its interesting characters. It is also a weird town to get used to. The roads and the way the town is made are really strange. Look at it on a map sometime. It is also very different from his last area.
I will now tell a story from this week. We went to contact a referral who ordered a Finding faith in Christ DVD. As we pulled up we saw a lady on a chair in front of the apartment we were supposed to visit. As we walked toward the apartment she started saying things that were not so nice that I will not repeat. Then we asked her if she was the lady who ordered the Bible. She said no and that she was from a certain church to show us that she believed in God. We then walked around her and knocked on the door we were trying to get to. The lady who ordered the Bible answered the door. We went in and had a great chat. She told us that she cannot wait until she can move away from her interesting neighbors. Then in the middle of our conversation the lady on the chair comes into the apartment and tells us that she let us in so she can kick us out. She then told us to leave. It is not her apartment. The Bible lady told her to get out and the response of the lady on the chair was that she believed in a certain church. This was probably not the best story but to me it was really funny afterward.
Let’s see what else happened this week? Bingo was fun. I think I dozed off a few times and had to keep reminding myself that I am a missionary and I need to be an example. But it was very tiring this week for some reason. District meeting was really good this week. After the meeting our district went to Chili’s. Our district is smaller now and only consists of Elders Cambell, (forgot his new companions name), and Garcia and Marr. We had a lot of fun. I love eating with the missionaries. It is always a blast. Another amazing thing that happened this week was an awesome storm. It rained for about an hour just pouring down. There was also lighting and thunder. The Brazos Elders called us to see if we could give them a ride. They were soaked when we got to them. We leaped out of the car to help them put their bikes on the bike rack and we got really wet. It was awesome. Houston area needed it. It has been really dry here and this is the first real Texas storm to hit this summer. WOW I just realized how long I have been gone from home. I left before prom and now school is about to start up. I have been gone all summer. Sorry if that past comment made anyone sad but time is going by faster than it ever has in my life. Moments are long but the overall time has flown by.
This week Elder Garcia and I contacted a bunch of referrals. I probably made around 100 phone calls just to referrals. It has been crazy. Luckily now that most of the referrals have been contacted and visited we have knocked out a lot of referrals that need to be contacted. This week will be better because we will be able to focus on our investigators that we already have.
So something that we did this week was spray paint our kitchen table chairs. They were a really ugly golden color so we spray painted them this cool gray and stenciled out the state shape on the back. On mine I we had the Texas pink. The chairs are awesome. Oh if anyone has seen the pictures I took of the apartment when I first got here it looks A LOT better. I might have said this last week but I just want to reiterate it.
Well everyone I hope that you have a great week. I tried to write letters last week but then we all got together and I didn’t have that much time. I will try as always to get some written this week. I love you all!!!!
Elder Devon Joel Marr

P.S. Alma 32 (especially the second half) is amazing read it and pray about it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My new companion is Elder Garcia. He is awesome. He was in the Memorial area which was in my zone so I know him a little. He is a cool guy. Of anyone I could have picked out of those I knoew could be my companions he is the one. He is an awesome Elder. He has a strong testimony and has alot of love for others. He is 26 and is the youngest of 6. He is a great Elder to work with and helps get the job done.
It was sad to see Elder Voeks go. Luckily he is in my zone so I get to see him at least once a week. He is with an Elder that has been out one transfer. Last I heard from Elder Voeks he is having a great time and loves it up there. It is sad for him to be gone. He is one of my best friends and I know that he and I will be close even after the mission.
We got to go to the cheesecake factory on Wednesday. It was sooooo good. We went to say goodbye to some people who were leaving. Sis. Burke from the Spanish branch left. She was really cool and a good friend. It was a sad but good week. It is stange how sometimes that happens.
Elder Voeks and I (before he left) got permission to give Cathy’s mom a blessing up in the city. Her mom has come a long way and can speak now and is fully alert. Cathy was told that her mother had less than a 50% chance to live and even then she would lose 70% of her brain function or be a vegetable for lack of a better term. But thanks to Elder Voeks and Elder Schwarz her mother received a blessing when she was in the ER. Now Cathy’s mom can talk and has a normal functioning brain. She understands things and can communicate everything. All thanks to Elder Voeks and Elder Schwarz being worthy and following the spirit in were to be.
This week besides transfers has not been too eventful. We have been trying to contact referrals. Mostly people who call in to order something when they see a church commercial or advertisement on the computer. We have a lot that we are unsure if they have been contacted or not. So we have been driving like crazy trying to contact them. It has been really busy. I do say that my letter writing has not been tended to in a while. With transfers, cleaning the apartment (it looks completely different now) and the work itself I have had very or closer to no spare time. I am sorry everyone for not writing. I love you all and I hope that you understand.
The good news is that some people are turning around. Tony who we has to drop a while back we have re-contacted and he was at church this past Sunday. Also we had one of the best sacrament talks ever. The Bishop got up and just spoke not even any notes. He talked about unity, love, friendship, and excepting callings. Our ward to be honest is not very unified. But the Bishop is all for a unified ward. The amount of love that he has for others I do not see myself obtaining for quite some time. He is a kind and loving man who wants to see others blessed. This week I realized how blessed I really am. Not by any special experiences but by recognizing what I have and giving thanks. I am closer to the Lord than I have ever been before. I have had an interesting week. But the Lord gives comfort and strength. I also discovered again that the more you give the more you receive. The message that I am out here to share is true. And since that is the case I do not understand why people don’t focus on it more that already have it. I have only this week fully realized how truly important this work is and what it means to the world. I have met many types of people. I have NEVER seen the restored gospel curse or bring someone down. Satan might throw a huge obstacle in their way or a large trial. But if they can get past that trial than I have never seen someone not improve or grow. These are the miracles that I get to see in other peoples’ lives. And to be a part of that is the largest blessing I have ever received. Because I help these people the Lord has blessed me beyond what I have ever imagined. All that living this gospel does to you is improve you and help you grow in every aspect of your life. I have seen it in others lives and in my own.
Elder Devon Joel Marr

Monday, August 10, 2009


Transfers coming up on Wednesday. Elder Voeks is going to be leaving the area. He has been here for 7 transfers and it is sad to see him leave. A lot of the mission is changing. Every companionship in our zone is changing along with all the zone leaders in the mission. Lots of changes but good changes. The mission is doing very well. Everyone is happy and there aren’t many problems. So Elder Voeks has wanted a Needville area to open ever since he got here. He talked to President about it and President decided that it should be experimented with and opened for a short time. The Elders would be living in a member’s home. But just two days ago transfers had to be completely changed. A missionary has some medical issues that require him to go home for a period of time. So that means that we are one missionary shorter than planned. So Needville, being on the bottom of the list of areas, had to be dropped as a new area. So we were a little sad about that.
This week has been busy, fun, and productive. We went on exchanges on Monday. That was a great experience. Elder Cole who I was with is a great missionary and we did a lot and had a great time. I would love serving with him. It was a great exchange for me but for Elder Voeks it was a little different.

So while I was in Richmond on exchanges some funny things happened in Rosenberg. The car broke down twice which seemed like battery trouble. So they tested the battery and it was bad. They replaced the battery and the Elders are driving and it dies in the middle of the freeway. Eventually they can get it to the side because most roads in Texas are slightly slanted. I have a picture Elder Voeks took of the car being towed away. I am going to photocopy it and send a copy home or something. But luckily now it is fixed. The real problem with the car was that the computer in the car broke. I didn’t even know that could be a problem.

So the week went on and we have been finding many great people. One in particular we were driving and contacting media referrals. Then Elder Voeks gets the impression to turn on a road I didn’t tell him to. The road ends without any outlet. So Elder Voeks turns it around at the end of the road and stops. He looks at this house and feels like it is familiar somehow. He then remembers that he was told by the Spanish missionaries of a house that looked just like this one 5 months ago but was never able to find the house. So we went in and had a great lesson and talk with the family there.

The Spanish missionaries baptized a family this week. I have met the family before and they are really nice. There were 4 who were baptized. The Spanish Elders went over yesterday and told us that it seemed completely different than when they had been there before. They said that you could feel the spirit in the house and in others much more vibrantly.

So before transfer calls Elder Voeks and Elder Olsen knew that they were prolly going to leave. Also Sister Burke is at the end of her mission. These three people are my closest friends in the mission. It is sad that all of them are leaving. We have had great times though. I am definitely going to stay in contact with them because of how awesome they are. We are trying to get permission today to go to Cheesecake Factory with them all and some other missionaries.

Last night we had two dinners. Our first dinner was at the Crankers and we had a bunch of lasagna. Then we went over to another member’s house just to visit and he thought that when we asked if we could stop by that it meant dinner. So we had huge steaks and potatoes. I was fuller after those meals that I can remember. I am still not hungry and it’s Monday. Cool little story about sacrament. So we were sitting there listening to a talk from a member in the stake presidency and everyone hears this loud rumble. It lasted for about 10 seconds. It sounded like someone rolling a garbage bin on concrete right next to you. It was a deep booming sound as well. The church is pretty sound proof already and the chapel even more so. It would have been loud outside. We got a little rain but nothing very enjoyable or helpful to the plants. It just made everything humid. This week has been great. Time is flying by and change is on the horizon. I love you all and have a great week. I might not be able to write any letters this week because today is busy with Elder Voeks leaving soon and such. (The apartment is a mess). Keep working hard and endure to the end.

Elder Devon Joel Marr

Monday, August 3, 2009

And it came to pass....

Hello all!!! This week we had interviews with the President. They went really well. I love President Saylin. He is a very loving and caring man who just wants to help and uplift. I look forward to talking to him again. Transfers are coming up not this Wednesday but next Wednesday. Elder Voeks thinks that he will leave because he has been here for 7 transfers. Which is a long time. The President told us this week that the spirit hasn’t told him to open a Needville area yet but that the spirit hasn’t said no yet so he is waiting. The Spirit is something that is overlooked I feel quite a bit in everyday life. But on a mission it is everything. Nothing can be done without it and you rely on it for telling you everything. You still have to work your best and use your brain but having the Spirit confirm something to you is the most important part of missionary work. You rely on him and he relies on you to do what he asks.
We had a very busy week. It was the busiest and also highly enjoyable. Something funny that happened was I was going to teach a lesson with a member on exchanges. We entered the home and they say; “We told you last time we would feed you next time you came.” “It’s ready.” I have absolutely no recollection of them ever saying that they would feed us. Luckily I hadn’t eaten anything yet. They are so nice to cook for us when we are just coming to teach them and talk to them. People down here can surprise you with their love and charity. By the way it was really good lasagna.
This week was good. The couple that I have mentioned they looked at the stake center this week for their wedding. They are going to have it in the gym so that way they can decorate. I am so excited for them. I feel like a girl. Only on a mission. There are a lot of things that Elders find enjoyable that most 19-22 males would never find enjoyable. A mission shows you that TV, movies, video games, the internet, and cell phones all are not what are most important. I love all these things but my mission has showed me that all that matters is people. Some of the blessings of a mission I have found are not just spiritual. You just mature faster. It is really cool.
We took the couple to a baptism last night at another building. They enjoyed it and she cried quite a bit. Then she saw me crying and started to quietly laugh. It was a great baptism. Now that I realize much more what baptism really is I have gained such a better appreciation for it and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The man who was baptized was so happy and it meant so much to him. This work is the best!
This week we had lunch with the Bishop and his family. Normally there is an hour limit to dinner or lunches but with the Bishop you can be there as long as you want. It was so much fun. Their family is hilarious and they are just good people. We talked for a long time and ate fried bread tacos. I never realized how much I missed those until then. I don’t know how it was brought up but they love MST3K. We got laughing so hard about some things. The interactions with people and the other missionaries is one of my favorite parts of the mission. The missionaries mostly because almost all of the ones that I have met are so much fun to be around.
So there is a member who helped a lady we talk to move. He is letting her keep her couch in his garage while she lives with her daughter. His name is Brother Miller. I might have mentioned him in other emails but he is a generous and charitable man. He taught the lady that we moved with Elder Voeks on splits one day. They were showing her a picture of Jesus from the gospel art book (find what this is and buy it, it is $3.50 in some areas and is full of great pictures. It’s a bargain.) She saw one picture that she really loves. It is one that is in many church buildings with Jesus descending out of heaven with the angels blowing their trumpets. It’s a good picture. So Brother Miller when helping this lady tells her to wait a second right after dropping off the couches at his garage. He comes out with a huge framed version of the picture and gives it to the lady that he has met once. My favorite part of this is that he did it with no other motive than to be charitable and to see someone else have joy. That is what the gospel is all about. Being truly sincere and a good person who cares about others before themselves. I love this work and I love all of you. I don’t think that I knew love the way that I do now. Heavenly Father has let me feel his love and his love for others. It is something that I am extremely grateful for. I have realized how much I love you all at home out here and not just because I have been away from you. It is deeper than that. I appreciate all of you and I hope that you all continue to progress and to grow while I am gone. Do not endure to the end. But progress to the end. That is what the gospel is all about. I love you all and have a great time wherever you may be.