Monday, October 26, 2015

Seek and ye shall seek and ye shall seek


As my companion and I come to the end of a long week of finding, we have learned this: missionary work will only get done if the members are very involved. The missionaries have the authority to teach and baptize. The members have the ability to find.

This week was beautiful and too fast. We basically street contacted and ported all week. We whitewashed, or doubled-in to this area and there weren't really any investigators (Amis). So, this week, in summary, we had legitimate gospel related conversations with 60 people and 4 of them accepted to meet with us again.

On Saturday, we talked with 35 people and nothing was happening. Then, we both knew that we needed to make use of the members. So, on Sunday, we talked to a bunch of members and now we have about 7 referrals. That is great! Our conversations on Sunday went like this: "Frère or Sœur ___________! You are very lucky! (Why?) Because we are merciful missionaries! So, you have 2 choices. Either we can come to your house to do service for you, or we can come to your house to share with your family a spiritual message!" They would then laugh and say "How about you come to my house and I will make you food!" So, we have 3 or 4 meals this week.

Ponderize scripture: John 9:4

Other than that, France is France and I love it. I love sharing with others that Jesus is always there for them and we don't have to be sad in life!

Pictures this week include a sweet Catholic Cathedral/Tourist attraction, food that my companion and I cook, and various pictures of this beautiful ville.


Elder Marshall Underwood

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends of Elder Underwood


My name is Elder Berry and I am Elder Underwood's companion here in France! Just wanted to give you a little bit about how he's doing and reassure you that he continues to draw breath. Elder Underwood is a great man and an incredible missionary. Already from just a couple days I've seen myself change for the better. You are all really lucky to have such great relationships with him and I am really excited to get to know him better as well. He's been smiling ever since he got here. He was exhausted coming off the plane and for the first couple days, but never complained. He's fearless and willing to try everything and just wants to dive into both the work and the French culture. He speaks French at a very advanced level, it'll just take a couple weeks to a month for his ear to adjust to the way people speak and then his comprehension will go way up so no worries there. All in all he's a very happy very hard working, admirable young man who loves all of you a lot and won't stop talking about you. I feel like I know all of you in a creepy fake way. Anyways, keep up the good work. Here's a picture from the first day in Lyon.

Work Hard, Be Happy, No Regrets
Elder Adam Berry

"You're not in Kansas anymore"

Salutations from the old country,

So much to explain. Actually, I'll tell you the good parts.

I left Philly. That was cool and it wasn't that sad. I got to be in the mission home for a while with a bunch of trunky missionaries and then I stayed at the assistants apartment. They gave me about 8 ties because they literally had boxes of over 100 ties.

I flew from Philly to Atlanta to Paris to Lyon. The flights were chill. I basically just wtched the flight plan of my plane all the way to France trying to wrap my head around the fact that I AM IN FRANCE. How's Utah?

I thought that I would meet the other elders that were coming from the MTC in Paris, but I got on the plane without any of them there. They rushed to get on the flight because their plane was delayed. Then, I met Elder Thangaraj. He saw me and said, "No way - Elder Underwood? Ryan Wadge told me to look out for you." (Ryan is the brother of Marshall's good friend Zoe) He is easily on of my favorite people here and also a spiritual giant. When we got off the plane and went to get our bags, I said, "Alright let's play a game called 'whose bags got lost,' " And then I felt really bad because only my bags came. It was a little awkward, but they got their bags a few hours later. When we saw President and what he said to me first was "Hey neighbor!" So, basically, I'm in.

The food is incredible. To give you an idea, the assistants gave me a sandwich when I got off the plane that had the greatest cheese I have ever had on it. Voila. Also the sacrament bread was better than 90% of the bread I have ever tasted in my life.

My trainer's name is Elder Berry. He is very tall and absolutely hilarious. He is amazing at French and so quick witted. For example, there was this lady running down the sidewalk towards us and he said, in French, "Yes, calm down, you can talk to us." Also, the subject of this email is thanks to him because after my first French conversation he could see that I was very confused and he simply told me that. Also, this little kid was being very vulgar and I did not know. I then told Elder Berry that I didn't know the F word in French and all he said was "you'll figure it out."

This mission is full of capable, attractive, hardworking people that all are totally bros. Also, those that know the language well talk in franglais. Or frenglish. It's hilarious. For example, most people say tranquil (trankeel) to mean chill or cool. This is totally a phrase that I suggest Carl Colby should start using.


We were walking home and I knew that there was someone that we needed to find. So, we said a prayer and asked to be guided. We continued on the street and came to a roundabout. Usually here, roundabouts have around 3-6 roads extending from them. This one had 5. I believe. We followed the one we felt prompted to until it ended and then took a left. Then, all of a sudden, this man said "oh hey elders." We were confused and asked his name and he told us. This is so significant because we were walking home from what we thought was his house and we were about 2 miles off. He took us down the street to his house and he ended up coming to church the next day!

Ponderize scripture: Proverbs 16:32

32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

My address (copy this exactly):
Elder Underwood
Les Missionaires
2 rue de l'arc
24000 Périgueux


P.S. We travel by train everywhere basically. When we left the mission home to our area, it was an 8 hour train ride but with layovers took 10 hours. Our area is huge and we will never see the whole thing. We walk around on cobble stone streets.

 CDG airport (Paris)
 View from my bedroom

 ancient tower

St. Martin Cathedral

Views of Perigueux

A street

Thursday, October 15, 2015

First Assignment

14 Octobre 2015

Dear Parents,

Elder Underwood has been assigned a wonderful trainer/companion Elder Berry. They are serving in Périgueux France. We are grateful to have your wonderful son in our mission! Please address all mail or packages in this format. Their address is:

Les Missionnaires
Elder Marshall Underwood
2 rue de l'arc
24000 Périgueux

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Message from Sister Brown

Sister Brown commented on my fb post. So happy to hear from her. We are still awaiting who his companion is and where he is assigned. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

He made it to France

Being picked up at the airport. President and Sister Brown. He looks happy. We will await the official email with his assignment. Hopefully sometime today. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Elder Underwood is off to France

We got a call from Elder Underwood this morning at 5 am. He is so excited to get there. I was telling him to sleep on the flight and stay up once he got there until bedtime.  He said, "I don't think I will be able to sleep because I am so excited." Here he is in the Philadelphia airport.

This is in the Atlanta Georgia airport. Next to him is Elder Brown. He is headed home to Jerome Idaho. 

He will arrive in Lyon about 3:30 am Tuesday morning - it is 11:30 am Lyon time. Hopefully we will get an email from the President that he arrived and where he will be serving.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hark, all ye nations

As a result of General Conference this past weekend, I am going to take the challenge to PONDERIZE a scripture every week. This week, I have chosen Proverbs 16:7-9

7 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

I will continue to tell the scripture I have for each week!
Anyway, this week started with a nice night with Brother Karren. he is a really cook guy that kinda dresses like I would and has a sweet hairdo. Elder Martinez said that I remind him a lot of Brother Krren. He served in DC. His family is great and happy so I hope I'm like him - haha! Plus, his wife made Peruvian food for us @eldermaclainunderwood.

Tuesday was zone conference and they challenged us to write a 25 word message to our future children. Mine was this:

My children:
Your lives were given you by God, and therefore, shall your lives be given to Him. Build on Him. Let your light shine.

Letting your light shine is something that has been on my mind. People know who missionaries are. They can see the light of Christ in our eyes no doubt. They see us walk down the side of the street in pouring rain, smiling bigger than ever, and waving at every car that drives down the street (which is exactly how the rest of Tuesday went). I was smiling because I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that Christ is our Savior and friend. Some people don't know these things, but life gets so much better when we do!

I went on exchanges with Elder Stimpson on Thursday and it was fun and stress relieving, but I was happy to go back to my apartment and companion. We met Jeff the Jew who is very smart and gave me a funny dollar bill that says "one million prayers" with a picture of Jesus. Then we met a guy named Tom who said "Oh another one from the Mothership" when I told him I was from Salt Lake City.

On Saturday night, as we walked in the door from the priesthood session, we heard a loud crash from our room and the curtain moved to the side. We thought someone had broken in. However, we looked around and no one was there. No windows open. Nothing. However, my companion is of the tribe of Manasseh, and one of their gifts is that the veil is very thin. Sometimes we will be driving around and he will say "this place is evil" or "I really feel the adversary right now".

So, after we looked through the apartment, my comp said that he really felt darkness. So, we said a prayer and asked God to bless the house and we immediately felt better. It was a crazy experience for me, but you would be surprised at some of the stories I have heard from other missionaries. Satan works hard on missionaries.

This was a random pic, but it fit perfectly right here in his letter

General conference. Wow. It was amazing. We didn't get to see all of it because we were running around making sure that everyone else had the means to watch it. On Sunday, we watched the sessions at the Beebe family house. They were so nice and I loved watching it with a family. It was weird though because it wasn't just on normal tv like at home. However, to hear the voices of the prophet and apostles of the Lord was priceless and I can't believe that I ever took it for granted. If you haven't watched it, go ahead and watch some! Two of my favorite talks are from Elder Holland in October 2007 and April 2008. He talks about why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is accused of not being Christian because we do not hold a necessarily classic view of the Godhead and the canon of scripture. He explains the beauty of the Godhead and continuing scripture. I also love President Hinkleys address in the October 2007 Priesthood session called "Slow to Anger."

I am coming to love finding new people to teach. Here, we talk to everyone. Because we have nothing to lose and everyone that we talk to has so much to gain from our message. It changes lives. Absolutely. So, my friends and family, Hark. Hear the voice of heaven and its servants. This message changes lives. If you don't believe me, try it out.

With Sincere Love,
Elder Marshall Underwood

P.S Probably no emails next week. I will be off to France!
P.S.S. We have 6 baptisms on Saturday. One guy and a family of 5.

Me and Elder Stimpson on exchanges
 An Elder had this in his apartment
Elder Martinez and Elder Underwood
Favorite chips - thanks Cary and Zach
The beginning of sweater weather
 Random chair. That is all he said.
These are the Pocono "Mountains"