Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Dear wonderful people,
I wanted to drop you a quick note to share the joy I feel right now! MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST ha! To work side by side (well, a little step behind...) the Saviour is a 'great and marvellous work' and it's one that I feel privelaged to be a part of! I'll start with my testimony this time... God lives and is mindful of you! He knows and loves His children. Because He loves us, He created and perfected a plan... the plan of salvation! The teachings of Christ are essential to growth because they teach us how to become heavenly beings. These things are true!
This week has been AMAZING and I've had some of the best experiences of my mission. I wanted to cut and paste a little part of my e-mail home and then share one in particular (it includes me speaking espanol):
'So, you'd be proud of me... these past six weeks have been INTENSE ha! I have been working my butt off (not physically... I'm still 40 pounds heavier than when I left!) and feel exhausted. In fact, I saw President last Wednesday and he commented on it; 'Elder Pelham, I just don't get it. How are you teaching 18 lessons a week, keeping the district so united AND dealing with your companion?!). I laughed and told him that I have no idea but I've never been happier ha! He promised me a third companion to help look after the area but, as you've heard, it wasn't to be this time... that's okay though! It's funny because, rather than giving me another companion, he made me district leader of the biggest district in the mission... I think Heavenly Father wants me to be so tired I can't get into trouble! I'm excited but also nervous... we're going from 9 missionaries to 12, including two brand new missionaries. Also, this transfer has been relatively 'drama-free' but, looking at the companionships, I'm gonna be on damage control most of the time! I know I'll have divine help though... this is what the last six months has prepared me for :) We did 6 overnight exchanges over the last 6 weeks (it's my job to train each elder for a day, one on one - the Zone Leader's train me) but this transfer, we'll have 9 in 5 weeks... oh, and we have to baptize still ha! Pray for us in Poquoson!
Speaking of which, Poquoson is doing SOOO well! We've had miracles galore this week... Barbara's (you remember her right?) boyfriend has been investigating and is ready for baptism but, in order for it to happen, they need to get married... SO YES, A MARRIAGE AND A BAPTISM IN POQUOSON IN FEBRUARY :D I'm super excited - it started with Barbara, then Seth and now Kavin... they'll be a sealed family by next year (if all goes well!). It's amazing how perfectly Heavenly Father prepared this to happen and I'm super grateful to be a part of it!
Also, we've been working with a sweet part member family (the Coulsons) over the last six months and, through some divine intervention, we started teaching Fanny last month! Well, she's praying about baptism! Which doesn't sound like a big deal but, when I first arrived, she wouldn't even let us talk about church! I love that family... she just opened up to us in our last lesson and started crying and I couldn't help but cry with her! Her Father in Heaven loves her SOOO much <3 She's amazing and you'd love her'
I hope this gives you a little glimpse into the day-to-day life of a missionary! Anyway, now with the sweet experience... On one of these exchanges, I went with Elder Perrault, one of our Spanish speaking missionaries (he's such a good guy... we had TOO much fun: we saw this girl pick her nose and eat it and couldn't stop laughing for twenty minutes ha!). Anyway, we were visiting some potential investigators and met this guy from Mexico called Cruz! It was freezing outside so he invited us in to share the first lesson. Now, for those that know me, I DO NOT speak Spanish... I studied it for four years so I can listen and understand but I cannot talk. Well, I'm listening carefully and can hear little snippets of the lesson ('Jesu Cristo', 'aposticia' ect). Well, it gets to part about the First Vision and I ask if I can share it... as I read from the pamphlet, the Spirit was crazy! I'm certain my pronounciation was awful but it was one of the most powerful time I've shared that scripture. Elder Perrault continued to teach and, as he asked Cruz to read the pamphlet, I felt prompted to promise Cruz that, if he read that pamphlet on his own, he'd feel the exact same way he did as we shared our message. I asked Elder Perralut to translate and, as he made that promise, Cruz just changed... he gazed at the pamphlet for 30 seconds and then said 'really?'. It was SWEET ha! It goes to show that the Spirit has no language barrier and it was a blessing to me to see the power our message has to change people!
Anyway, I best be off... I love you all! Please pray for us here; we are going to need added strength but I know that, 'with God, nothing is impossible'!
Love Elder Pelham


Elder Marcus Pelham: Richmond, Virginia 2012-2014
Elder Josh Field : Leeds, England 2013-2015
Elder Sam King: Brisbane, Australia 2013-2015
Elder Jason Boyce: Greece, Athens 2013-2015
ALMA 17:1-4
'And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla. Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God. And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.'
Isn't this scripture just perfect?! I cannot believe that after six months (as of today may I add) of serving the Lord, three of my best friends in the world will be joining me in this great work of bringing souls to Christ! I feel extremely blessed today to be able to wear this tag and stand as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ! I wanted to share with these friends (and all who read this blog) some scriptures that I have grown to love over these past six months! I am excited for our reunion (although instead of Manti it will probably be on the BYU Provo campus!) when we all share the experiences we had as missionaries!
ALMA 42:31
'And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen.'
This scripture helps me understand where my call to serve in Virginia has come from: God Himself! A missionary is called to do many things but it can ALWAYS be encapsulated by Alma's statement... to 'bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them'. To some, we may be just young adults pounding the pavement, others may respect and admire our efforts but, when we look at this work through God's eyes, we are on a mission to save His children! The message we share isn't just 'interesting' or 'nice' - it is eternal truth, taught from the mouths of prophets, that enable each person to return home! In the words of Joseph Smith, 'how great is our calling'
D&c 84:88
'And whoso receiveth you, there will be also, for will go before your face. will be on your righthand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, tobear you up.'
A good friend of mine shared this scripture with me at my mission farewell! This a promise from Jesus Christ that He never leaves His servants alone... He is always there! I have seen this time and time again - not only as a missionary but throughout my life! Our message is that God loves His children so much that 'Hgave His only begotten Sonthat whosoever believeth in himshould not perish, but have everlasting life.' Christ's suffering - known as the Atonement - enables us to overcome sin, pain and grief (see Alma 7:11-13). The Atonement is infinite AND intimate - in fact, it can bless EVERY life on this earth! It is His Atonement that has got me through these six months and that will carry me throughout the rest of life's challenges :)
D&C 123:13-14
'Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things ofdarkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven — These should thenbe attended to with great earnestness.'
Missions are not easy! They are not the same as how they look in 'The Best Two Years'. Indeed, every day won't be an Ensign article! BUT, the miracle of missionary work is that, for those that act in 'great earnestness' and 'waste and wear out [their lives'], there is no going back! A missionary's greatest convert is themself! THAT IS POWERFUL! I can see the growth that I have been blessed with so far and I am excited for the growth I'll undertake in the next eighteen months! I am working hard but no effort is wasted because each lesson I teach, each member I visit, each door I knock is my personal testimony that Jesus IS the Christ; that after centuries of confusion He restored His church and fulness of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith; that there is a prophet on the Earth today and, most importantly, that only through the Atonement of a loving Saviour can we fulfill our potential and grow! I love that message and I am willing to 'give up' two years to share it - I'm grateful for great friends who, even though the Atlantic seperates us, still set the example for me of why I signed my name on that page and said ' I will go and do the things which the Lord commands' (1 Nephi 3:7).
I leave this with you with love in my heart and joy in my soul,
Elder Marcus Pelham <3


Well, another week in Poquoson... I LOVE IT HERE SO MUCH! We have been busy - since being called as district leader, I've been on an exchange with other missionaries at least once a week so I've been all over the zone! It's good fun though - we have been blessed with some of the best missionaries in the mission and it's a great opportunity to learn from them! It's crazy because we're all so young YET the work we're doing is incredibly intense... thanks goodness for prayer huh?!
In fact, this had been the busiest transfer of my mission so far by a mile! I don't think I've sat down for five weeks ha! It's been a blessing though - I'm growing a lot and, for the first time, I'm able to be the one giving help rather than being on the receiving end! It's also helped me to lose myself in the work - I'm definitely a full-time missionary now... I'm exhausted when I go to bed and shattered when I wake up at 6.30am! You're gonna have to let me rest for a few days by the end ;)
Despite the heavy workload, I'm still having fun! I appreciate the little things a lot more these days... hopefully that will come across in the pictures of Elder Stika (he's a greenie from the NN3 branch) and I from our exchange this week! I was just telling Fizzle about how close you become to those you serve with/around... they really do become your best friends! We have fun, whether it's in little Private jokes or dancing to crappy music in between meetings :)
So, an update on the area - we have 18 LESSONS PLANNED THIS WEEK! It's pure craziness... when I arrived, the average was 2 and now it's 900% more! Isn't that crazy?! We are being blessed beyond belief here and I'm grateful for that! The change, I think, has come from one main thing: focusing EVERYTHING we do on the message of the Restoration and how we can allow that to change our lives! It's a powerful message that we have been called to share and I'm very grateful I get to be the one to share it right now! One miracle we've had is Fanny... she's from a part member family that missionaries have worked with for over a year! Her husband is less active but, over time, he's starting to come to church, little by little! And, sure enough, we've begun teaching Fanny and her daughter Aurelia! It's amazing to see, mostly because of how much we have grown to love them (they have been fantastic to me... my nickname is Princess is fact... that's another story...) and also, to feel the Spirit as we teach them about the Restoration and the First Vision! It's causing some big changes in their lives and, slowly, the Holy Ghost is testifying that what the missionaries share is true :) And I'm blessed enough to be able to witness that!
I also am grateful for my wonderful companion (and friend), Elder Ovard! He is one of the kindest people I know and he has definitely been very supportive and patient with me! It's funny how much you can grow to love someone but he is such a great example, it's difficult not to! Please keep him in your prayers... we need the energy to be able to handle all this work!
Anyway, I best be off - I love you all and am grateful for your prayers; they make a difference! Have a great week :)