Monday, September 28, 2009


This week has been a great one indeed. Several people have been transferred and it has been a little sad to see them leave. From something that President Saylin said I feel like I am staying here one more transfer. A big thing that has happened this week is newer mission rules. These are rules just for our mission so if you talk to any other missionaries don’t think that these rules apply to them. Being obedient is never a bad thing. These new rules are a challenge however for all the missionaries within this mission. There are many new rules placed upon music, studies, phone minutes, and district and zone activities to name a few. These newer rules are very hard to follow and are testing many missionaries’ (including myself) faith in President Saylin that these rules are from the Lord. I can tell you all and the missionaries here that they are. This week we had the most investigators at church ever, a less-active family come to church after a long time away, people finding jobs, etc. I will tell of one in particular that was great. Well maybe two.
When Elder Costa of the seventy came he asked us to have companionship study every single day no matter what was going on that day. Also in the new rules it says that we are to have it every day. Elder Garcia and I rarely have companionship study on P-day. We are now committing to doing it every day. During our study we received a call from the AP’s. They told us that they received a referral that is in our area of a family that has been curious about the church and who have relatives in the church for a long period of time. I feel like these people are prepared. Also during our study we called a lady who randomly came to church one Sunday and she wanted us to come over at the one time that we had open today. She is very curious as well.
Another interesting blessing that I do not know if it has to do with obedience or not but I will share it. After church I became very ill. I had a temperature, I was shivering everywhere I went, I had a headache, my stomach hurt badly, and my mind was jarbeled. I felt like this and I was sure that I had the flu or a cold. We ate our dinner and I still did not feel good at all. So it wasn’t that I was hungry or thirsty but that I was sick. We had a meeting at 7:00 last night at Bishop Sorenson’s home. Let me just say on a little side note that this meeting was special. The ward council came together to talk about a ward mission plan. When we talked about this we talked about how the brethren of the church really want this to happen. Also that the members have to share the gospel, invite their friends to church activities or lessons and to spread the gospel by example and by reaching out to others and making them feel welcome. In the meeting the spirit was so strong several people had tears in their eyes and one sister actually cried because of the changes that this will have. They realized in those moments that they have to stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things, and in all places they may be in. They understood that they have to change to live a Christ-like life without taking breaks or resting or keeping to themselves but to share the gospel everywhere and be the best that they can. It was a deeply spiritual meeting.
Upon arriving at this meeting feeling very sick the Bishop opened the door for us. He shook my hand and I instantly felt better. In the blink of an eye. My mind also was calm and clear. All of my ailments ceased the moment I shook his hand and walked into his home. There is no way I could go from feeling that sick to that good that fast unless through the power of the spirit. IT was a testimony to me of the power of God and the spirit which resides with others and in other’s homes.
One of Elder Garcia’s investigators in his last area was baptized by his this week. It was a great experience and she loved it very much. She is a great lady and she called to tell us how awesome her confirmation was at church. What it shows me is that people who really live the principles and do as Heavenly Father asks them receive blessings. I just hope that she remembers the blessings which she has received and stays strong in the gospel.
My time is short so I must put an end to my writing at this time. I love you all and I understand now why it is so important to be 100% obedient. Everything that we are asked to do if we do it will bring more joy and blessings than if we only did most of it or even 99% of it. But we must all try our best to get that 100%. That is also what repentance is for. We can repent so that the Lord can show us the way to get to 100%.

Elder Devon Joel Marr

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coming Home

Elder Whipple who is one of the AP’s is coming home. Not me. I just want more readers.

This week was transfer week and I am not being transferred. But I will get to the coolest news of the week right off the bat. This week on Saturday we met as a mission up in Houston. We were privileged to hear from Elder Cladio R.M. Costa of the presidency of the seventy along with Elder Richardson of the seventy. It was one of the best meetings I have ever been to. The sprit was strong, he told great stories, his council was great, and he was hilarious. His sense of humor had almost everyone laughing so hard they couldn’t think straight. It was a great meeting. He explained the authority of a seventy and it is something that many members do not even understand. Seventies hold very little keys but hold apostolic authority being called by the apostles. If you are not a member ask someone what some of these things mean. But it was very fascinating. I would go into more detail but I forgot to bring my notes to the library. Just so you know it was a great meeting that brought the spirit in very strongly.

Some other good news, some of our investigators have their financial situations stabilizing. This way they can progress easier because of being able to get themselves to church and other reasons. Also it is just good to be making money to support a family. This week has been a little different but has been a very enjoyable one. Elder Manning went on exchanges with me this week and we had a blast. Luckily the day went really well and we taught a lot of people and we just had a lot of fun. This transfer our zone isn’t changing much. Elder Cambell my district leader is training and Elder Stack is getting transferred. This is the biggest news in our zone. I will take pictures because we are getting together today so yall can see what everyone looks like and just to have pictures.

The mission as a whole continues to progress and to grow. This mission has changed much and all for the good. President Saylin has really been working hard and trying to follow the Lord’s plan for this mission. President Saylin spoke yesterday at a fireside that I was able to attend with the couple that we teach. It was his 23rd anniversary of being a member of the church. I think that is really cool. He bore his testimony and implored all attending the fireside to pray and ask if the church is true. The spirit was very strong. The Saylin family as a whole is amazing. Their children are great kids and the best things about them is how not fake they are and how truly loving they are.

This week we had a really good lesson with a family we teach. We talked about Alma 32 and faith. I would ask all of you to read this if I haven’t asked it already. It is some of my favorite scripture. Anyways this really helped them understand how to get answers from the Lord and why we ask them to read and come to church and pray.

There really isn’t too much else to update on. The area is improving and Elder Garcia is an awesome missionary. We have a blast. The food this week from the members has been really good as always but we have been using a lot of miles to visit members for dinner. We are allotted 1250 miles a month. We have about 320 miles left for the month. There is no way we are not going over. Our area is huge and we have been busy with investigators on the opposite side of town and members who live in Sugar Land. I like keeping busy but it kills miles. The work is good. I love my mission and all of the people in it. Today is going to be fun. We are meeting with some other missionaries to go out to lunch and stuff. Also today is just a good day. The weather has been very mild lately. It has been overcast so it has been much cooler. I find it to be perfect outside. But it does get humid sometimes. I am just rambling. I hope that everyone has a good week this week and I will give a better update next week. I just can’t think of anything else to update upon.
Elder Marr
P.S. Favorite scripture right now = Moroni 7:48

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hello everyone. This week has been rather slow. We have been trying to find some people to teach to enlarge our teaching pool but it has been rather difficult. All this week it has reminded me of home. It has been overcast and lightly rainy on and off. The heat is a little more intense and the humidity is a little stronger but it still reminds me of home. We had President’s interviews this week on Tuesday. I love speaking to President Saylin. He is a good man who cares very much for the mission as a whole as well as individuals.
This week was pretty good. We have been teaching this lady and she is going to be baptized on the 24th of October. She is so cool. She is truly seeking answers to her questions and wants to understand everything the best that she can. I might have mentioned her in the last email because it was late but I do not remember. Also the couple that we teach continues to grow and progress toward getting married so they can get baptized. I am so excited for them. There has been some rather sad news as well this week. One of our investigators mothers is going to be passing away very soon. It has been a sad but also comforting week. I am so happy that I have the knowledge I have about the next life and what is going to happen.
I cannot think of any funny stories this week. This email will be very short. Not that nothing happened this week just that nothing extravagant happened this week and there isn’t too much that is updateable. There has been a teaching tool that we have been using that has worked very well in opening people’s hearts to the gospel. That is Glenn Beck’s conversion story.
I highly recommend this dvd or if you can find in on youtube or something watch it. It doesn’t matter if you are a member of the church or not or if you hate Glenn Beck or love him. Everyone should watch it. It isn’t to brainwash you but to encourage you to ask questions. One of my favorite parts of the video he quotes Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson has a nephew whos mother had past away and whos father was going to die. His father approached Thomas Jefferson and asked him to teach his son and tell him how to be a good man. Thomas Jefferson told him that he would oversee the boy’s education. When his nephew turned 16 ,I believe, he sent him a letter. In the letter it said; when it comes to mathematics know this….politics know this…. Science know this….concerning religion he said this; “QUESTION WITH BOLDNESS.... fix reason firmly in her seat for if there be a God he would rather honest questions that blind folded fear.” Glenn Beck took this to heart and took this approach when looking for the truth. He says; “I reject you. (‘You’ being God) I reject you because I don’t know you. I reject you because I only know about you because I am told that you exist. But if you do exist. And I honestly seek you out. I will find you. Because you want me to find you.” This is true. Heavenly Father wants us to ask questions and question everything. And through honest questions we can find the truth. I testify that I have done this and that I have found for myself that what I am doing out here is true. When it comes to praying and asking if the Book of Mormon is true. The promise in the Book of Mormon that if you have faith in Christ and are truly seeking for truth not caring were you find it, as long as it is the truth, and you ask if the Book of Mormon is true than you will receive your answer. So if you ask with a sincere heart with real intent. You will receive your answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. It may not be immediate and it will take a true heart but the Lord is bound to the truth so he will give you an answer if you seek it. I promise.

Elder Marr

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Labor Day was yesterday so the library was closed. But luckily Pres. Saylin is having us take an hour today to write emails home. This week I didn’t write any letters because P-day was busy and we did stuff for Labor-Day. This week has been one of the best. The work out here has been a little different. It has been challenging and very sad. This economy is affecting everyone and I am sad for them and any of you who are having difficulties financially. But the Lord is blessing this area in ways that he has not before. I suggest that any who are able to read this month’s ensign article by Elder Holland. He is my favorite if you can have a favorite. All of the things that I have heard from him have always related to me personally much and the things that he holds dear I hold dear. I think that is why we have twelve different types of people for our apostles. Each one relates to the people in a different way.
Interviews with President Saylin were this morning. They are always good. President Saylin is a great man and he is doing a great work by being here. Our mission is being blessed far beyond it ever has before. I love this mission. I truly believe that it is the best mission anywhere but I am sure that all missionaries say that about their missions.
This week has had its ups and downs but the ups have been great. One thing that has really helped this area ,not in missionary work per say, was a huge storm that rolled in on Saturday. OH MY GOSH!!! It was around 7:40 and we are talking with a less active member of the ward on his porch. We see lightning in the distance. That’s no big deal. Then the wind gets crazy! By the time we ended our conversation the wind was blowing so hard you could barely hear. Then about 20 seconds before Elder Garcia and I go to the car it starts pouring rain. I have never actually seen real pouring rain, even in Washington. From the run of 30ft. to our car we were soaked. It was crazy. Driving in that was even scarier. So we had another appointment and in order to get to their apartment you have to walk down this path with no cover. So on this walk the rain is already starting to flood stuff. You cannot see the path because the water is about two inches deep and you step off the path into mud so my shoes were nasty and I had mud splatter all over my pants and shirt by the time we got back to the apartment. Driving home the power went out for only about 20 seconds but the storm was right on top of us. It was real loud too. Lighting flashing only a football field away at times. It got crazy. Pulling into our parking lot was the worst part of it. The road was flooding and the underside of the car got submerged a few times. So the battery was dying. Therefore the power steering was going out. I thought that we were going to get stuck but luckily we were able to park in an ok spot. On the way walking to our apartment there was a river in the parking lot about 5 inches deep. SO INTENSE! This storm was so much fun and I thought it was amazing. Also this area has not received hardly any rain while I have been here.
That was the storm. Now a funny story. Elder Garcia and I were tracting in an apartment complex north of our apartment. We knocked doors and found some success in the complex. But there were a group of kids there that were very nice and interested in what we were doing. One of them told us were people lived and who was home. I turned to Elder Garcia and said “He was a sober child, and quick to observe” (Mormon joke) He then called up to us as we were knocking on a person’s door and said “Where did you get that purse?” We were confused by his question and he was looking at me. I was holding my small scripture case in my hand and he thought it was a purse. I was going to say it was a scripture case but before I could do so someone opened the door in front of us. Children here are really funny. Sometimes I wish that we could teach them instead of their parents. They don’t have all of the problems or pride that some do. I can see why Christ always spoke of the children being examples of how we should be. Another funny thing is that we are teaching a guy now with a grill. If you don’t know what a grill is it is jewelry over your teeth basically. Look at pictures or something it is hard to describe. Anyways this guy has a real grill. I have only ever seen the ones that go over the teeth but this guy has ones that go over or are each individual tooth. They are gold with the front being some type of expensive metal. He is a nice guy but it is weird looking.
There isn’t much else to talk about just that the area goes well and I am sorry as always for not writing more letters. I would say that I will write them next week but I have no idea what is going on. Don’t think that I don’t love to receive letters because believe me I do. They are the highlight of my week. I love you all and have a great week this week.
Elder Devon Joel Marr

P.S. For those of you interested look up a video about the Book of Mormon taking place in the great lakes region. I have only heard about it but it sounds fascinating.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

HELLO,hello,HELLO,hello, we welcome you today!

Hello. This week has been slow. I wish we had snow. Anyways this week has been ok. Some great things are happening with some of our investigators and they are having miracles happen in their lives. One of the people we teach has found a job, Cathy’s daughter is having her heart softened toward her mother, and we have found some very good new people.
Let’s see this week. Hmmmm…. On Tuesday we went to Needville with a very nice member who offered to give us a ride. We started at 12:30 and ended at 5:30 so it was pretty long out there. It was a fun day though. Needville is such a small Texas town. It is really different than Rosenberg. We talked to a man who had some really nice dogs. He was nice too. We will be visiting him either this week or the beginning of next week. This reminds me of this dog that we see all the time. There is a dog that always sits in front of one of our investigator’s homes. He is a wire haired jack Russell terrier. He is the sweetest dog. We call him Zorom.
One Wednesday we had TEMPLE ZONE CONFERENCE! It was awesome. It took us forever to get there though. Our session was at 9:00 so we had to be there by 8:30. We live an hour away from the temple when there is no traffic. We had to leave really early. When we got there the temple looked really beautiful because of the lighting. I took a few pictures with other people’s cameras that I will get copies of and send home. Also this temples interior is amazing. I had a great time. After the temple we had our conference with a talk from President Saylin on the mission and on obedience, and then we had training by our AP’s on following and teaching by the spirit. Then we had training by Sister Saylin. It was a lot of fun and very spiritual. On my mission the number one thing that I have learned and been able to recognize is the spirit. I do not get promptings as often as some but I can recognize them between my thoughts and what the Lord tells me now more than ever. There is a difference and when you receive a prompting or revelation it is different than you thinking it. It is one of those things that are almost impossible to describe. There is actually another thing that I heard in church this past week that I find very interesting. The Bishop was talking about parenting and that the parents are responsible for teaching their children the gospel and parenting in general. Then he talked about an extensive study that the church had to find out what the number one thing was that led people to go on a mission, receive the Melkezidek priesthood, get their endowment, be sealed in the temple, and stay active. The church after this study found out that the number one factor is a personal spiritual experience. I found this very interesting and I would say that every person who joins or is raised in the church needs one of these experiences to know that the church is true. The way that you have one of these is to do the basics. Go to church, read your scriptures, pray, and keep yourself in an environment where the spirit can be present. Also exercising patience for the spirit to touch your heart. For me I did not have a full spiritual witness of the truth until I was at the MTC. This does not mean that I did not have a testimony but I did not know 100%. You can know yourself even if you have a testimony. By doing what I said earlier and asking to know if something is true. I try to ask at least once a month if something about the gospel is true even though I already know it is. Doing this strengthens your testimony about that particular thing much more when you do this.
Anyways back to my update.
We had our carpet cleaned this week and it was nasty before so now it looks and feels a lot better. Our apartment has gone from looking like junk to looking like a church. It is so clean. There isn’t much else to update on. The rest of the week was the norm. We did have a great lesson with Lily. She said that she will be baptized once she gets an answer if it is true. SO we are really excited about that. I hope that everyone who reads this will know that it is nearly impossible to write letters anymore. There is so much preparation and stuff going on every P-day that things stack up. I want everyone to know that I love you and I am not trying to be flaking when it comes to writing letters. If I had the time I would write everyone a huge letter but sadly we can only write letters on P-days and I have been very busy. I love you all and I just remembered something. We had a super loud awesome storm the other night.

Elder Devon Joel Marr