Monday, December 26, 2016

Foggy Christmas


We had a great Christmas week here in Lyon! Here are a few highlights:

I felt like I needed to call this old investigator and so I did. I set a meeting with him for the next day and now he has a baptismal date. Elder Battezzato and I went in and the spirit was strong, so it all worked out.

On the street, we saw this guy that was about 6'9" and so we went to talk to him. I had a hard time not laughing because watching a little Italian teach while looking almost straight up at a giant. He wasn't interested.

We went caroling to one of our investigators houses and she was so happy. She didn't stop thanking us and she felt really good. She just lost her husband, so she has been down.

The weekend was full of eating. The French are a little particular because if you go eat with them, they expect you to stay for about 3 hours. That doesn't make me very comfortable because I'd rather be on the streets talking but I guess that you have to find a balance.

One beautiful thing that I learned: The most classic example of building your foundation is the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. One built on the rock and the other on the sand. One other beautiful example is in Lehi's dream. From the description in 1 Nephi 8, we learn that the great and spacious building was high in the air. A few chapters later, we read that the building fell, and great was the fall of it. The great and spacious building was in the air because it had no foundation. This lack of foundation was the cause of its great fall.

On Christmas, we awoke and couldn't see the building next to us because it was so foggy! Didn't get any snow but maybe later. The 24th and the 25th were full of a lot of food. On the 24th in the evening, we went caroling. There was a lot of people that stopped to watch. All the little kids gave them cards and the spirit of Christmas was great!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, everyone 😊

Elder Marshall Underwood

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Eleventh Commandment and Merry Christmas

This week we had the opportunity to meet with Elder Sabin. It was a great learning experience because he knows the scriptures like the back of his hand.

So, on Thursday, he came to the mission and we had a conference. I learned a lot of things but the greatest moment for me was at the end when he opened it up to questions and I ask him what he had done to develop Christlike love. He gave me some answers that I was expecting, but then he counseled to look at everyone with dignity and respect. Love always starts in our thoughts. To try to love someone that we don't like is almost impossible. However, if we are able to forget our baser feelings and look at them purely and respectfully, Christlike love flows.

The next day, Friday, we had the Mission Leadership Council with elder Sabin. We talk about the question, "therefore, what?" In doctrine and covenants 44 it talks about the spirit being poured out upon us when we meet in groups. This often happens, we subsequently receive revelation, and then nothing happens. It is important to put into practice the revelation that we receive in order to change ourselves.

At the conference I got a package and I asked elder Pesnell to pull off the contents list. When he did that the box opened a little bit. Naturally, when we got home, I tried to peek In to see what there was. My companion said, "don't you know the 11th commandment: thou shall not look into your present before Christmas, lest ye perish?!"

In this season of Christmas, my thoughts are obviously turned toward the saviour. I know that he was born, lived, and died, and lived again. I know that he suffered the sins, pains and afflictions of all mankind. I know that he is the light and the life of the world, just as many of you. Also like you, I am eternally grateful for the miracle of his birth. There is just one question that we need to ask ourselves, those that have received this knowledge: "therefore, what?"

Elder Marshall Underwood

Merry Christmas 🎄

Monday, December 12, 2016

Do you think Adam has a jelly belly?

This week was a really good week here in Lyon. I got transferred to the Confluence ward. This meant that on Monday, we stayed at the train station to make sure that everyone got on their trains. That night, we had a few trainers at our house which was fun.

What I learned on Tuesday morning was really important. Elder Coopen, who is a great missionary, was training and so we got to discussing about contacting. He showed me how he would contact someone and it was really impressive. Later that day, I was talking to someone, and I tried to use the same strategy that he had used that morning and I fell straight on my face. I then decided that I better listen to the spirit. The conversation started dying down and I said, "do you want to know if God exists?" The man thought for a while and said, "yeah, I would." This message is true. I love to share it.

Wednesday was a good time because we got to see the trainees meet their trainers. There was a good training and I learned a lot. That night, Elder Battezzato looked at me really seriously and asked, "Elder Underwood, do you think Adam has a belly jelly?" He wanted to say belly button but it took me a minute to figure that out. He's hilarious.

My new companion is Elder Battezzato. He's from Italy and he's a great missionary. We saw some good things happen this week by passing by some old investigators and some less active members. I'm loving Lyon, because it is a beautiful city.

On Friday, President Brown took us in a boat down the river to see the lights of Lyon. It was stunning and he's such a generous man.

On Sunday, we got to use a brand new Chapel. It's 4 floors tall.

That's all,
Elder Marshall Underwood

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pack the bags

The news for this week is that I got transferred to Lyon. I didn't think I would leave Geneva but I will have fun in Lyon.

On Sunday, during sacrament meeting, they asked me to come up. I wasn't sure what to share but I tried to be inspired. The spirit led me to testify of one of the most important events in human history: the atonement of Jesus Christ.

One the greatest problems of the believing world is just that- it's a belief. For too many people, God is just a nice idea, but he doesn't dwell in the literalness that we know. I know that Jesus Christ is the literal, living son of our literal, living God. He came to earth, lived, and died, before redeeming his body from death. He proclaimed to the Nephites, "will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" I have asked myself this question many times. I know that He has the power to heal, for he has healed me.

In the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen.

Saying goodbye to those in Geneva was tough. One day I'll go back. I saw many miracles there and, by the end of my time, certain people were starting to show their fruits of repentance, which is all that I ever wanted to see.

Elder Kelsey helped my learn a lot and I am thankful for his influence. It's time now for an adventure in Lyon with Elder Battezzato.

Elder Marshall Underwood