Monday, April 23, 2018

Transfer news was saturday and Elder Limu and I are staying the same. He goes home this transfer so i will be "killing" him 🔪 We visited a less-active family and the wife was telling us that a group of people were saying that a mzungu preached to them at the funeral a few weeks ago and that i talked about Easter and read from the bible and "another book" that they said sounds like a nice book. They really really enjoyed it and were wondering where I am now. The member said i am a missionary and invited them to church, they did not come this last week but we are hoping they come soon!! A great missionary opportunity for all! The work has been hard the last week. We kept getting cancled on or we would travel for like an hour to see someone just to have them not at home or say they are busy and to come back another day. So one of the days we were doing some contacting and then after leaving someones house my back tire was flat 😐 i got a puncture. So we had to walk allllll the way back to Mautuma to the one place where they can fix it. And on the way we met a lady who is good friends with a member and who knew who we were (missionaries) and wants to learn from us!!! I love to see the hand of the Lord in things. Might sound crazy but if my tire was not flat and we did not have to go back to Mautuma then we would not have met that lady!! Also a piki-piki passed away and the all the guys went crazy.... The week has been good!! We are pressing forward and working our hardest to accomplish what the lord knows we can! I am now in my 4th quarter of my mission. The last 6 months. Somehow the time has already arrived. I have found myself recently being more bold and straightforward with this life changing message. I want people to find true and lasting happiness and the truth. Somewhere where everybody fits in, somewhere where everyone can be loved and truly come unto Christ. Just as in american football the 4th quarter is when the players play the hardest, when they give it there absolute all. That is how i am feeling now. Even more than i have been giving before, and i look forward to see the growth and progress that will come from it! Love, Elder Merz

Monday, April 16, 2018

To start off the week we were able to do some work in our area on Wednesday. Some people we had planned to see weren't around but we were able to fill our time with some meaning full activities. Then on Thursday we traveled to Eldoret....we left our flat in mautuma at 8:30 and got to Eldoret at 3.....that's what happens when your in the middle of no where and have to rely on other people for transport hahaha! 😊 We had interviews with President Msane and we slept at the Sosiani flat with the Kitale Elders and one set from Kisumu. Sister Esther (one of my favorite people and families in Eldoret) she invited Elder Limu and i over for dinner...hahaha so we went and she fed us very very very well!!! It was kind of sad though. Her daughter who my age was not there, because she is in the Ghana MTC going to go to Ivory Coast!! It was still a great time. The next day we had zone conference and i learned a looooot but sadly as i type this i forgot my notebook in mautuma....we talked a looot about personal revelation though and how essential it is in our daily lives. Not just a the Lords representatives but also as normal people at home. That night Elder Limu and i enjoyed the city since we dont get to see lots of people or shops, or supermarkets. So we went in town and had some good laughs together! In one of the supermarkets i found a MAC & CHEESE!!!! Elder Pratt and I made it and he is lucky i am nice. I split it with him. Elder Pratt is in Kitale and one of my new best friends on mission. He is from the avenues in SLC. What a great guy! On our way back in a Matatu i had to get out due to someone getting out. The guys greeted me in there tribal language, Luuyah. Little did they know i know some Luuyah...so they greeted me and I replied back. They then all just freaked like "ohhhhhhhhhhhh" then they all wanted to be my friend hahaha. Also the kids around Mautuma dont call me a mzungu (white guy) anymore. When they greet me instead they say "Habari mwafrica" They say i am now African, so my life has been complete LOL. Because we know kids cant lie! 😄 Also my good good brother Elder Call called and talked to me yesterday for 25 minutes. What a blessing it is to have friends like him on mission. Thank you all for your continuing love and support. Africa is going well! Sadly even though the Prophet Russell M. Nelson is in Kenya as i type. And Elder Holland. We did not get to go to Nairobi for the meeting and the chapels here were not broadcasting the meeting, and sadly the link we got does not work. So hopefully the conference goes well and i'll be able to view it later. I hope those stupid Nairobi boys enjoy it! 😉 just kidding haha Welp that is about the story of the week. We met with some people who have baptismal dates and look forward to an undisturbed working week this week! Love, Elder Merz

Monday, April 9, 2018

Elder Limu and i traveled back to Nairobi this week. We had a meeting with the mission President. Us and the other leaders in the mission. It was a great meeting and i got to see some of my great great friends again! Some of them for the last time as missionaries like Elder McGrath! Plus we got to sleep in the very nice mission home and get Sister Msanes food,that is always a big plus!! So we did about 20 hours of traveling in 3 days just on a bus but it was alright! We got to come back to this side with Elder Fraga and his companion! I love my group of missionaries so much! We are the best!! My highlight i guess you could say of the week was Conference! What a historic, spirit filled indescribable conference!!! My heart and soul are so lifted up and i am still buzzing about the conference! i loved it so so so so so so much!!! These were my favorite talks!! Study them and read them and help them bless your life! :) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/precious-gifts-from-god?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/am-i-a-child-of-god?lang=eng (people said i look like this guy haha) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/even-as-christ-forgives-you-so-also-do-ye?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/the-heart-of-a-prophet?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/until-seventy-times-seven?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/pure-love-the-true-sign-of-every-true-disciple-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/his-spirit-to-be-with-you?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/small-and-simple-things?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/revelation-for-the-church-revelation-for-our-lives?lang=eng (When president Nelson was speaking i got a very very warm good feeling in my heart. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I got my confirmation that he really is a prophet of God) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/inspired-ministering?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/ministering-with-the-power-and-authority-of-god?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/be-with-and-strengthen-them?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/ministering-as-the-savior-does?lang=eng (I realllly loved the 2 talks about the new Program Ministering. What a step forward for the church!! I look forward to it!! What great talks this one and the one by holland above are!!) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/behold-the-man?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/04/it-is-all-about-people?lang=eng As you can see i realllllllly loved conference!! The announcement of the temples in Russia and India!!!! WHAAAAT!? My mind was blown!! Words cannot describe my love for the conference and the talks. But i hope it had or will have the same powerful effect on you as it has had on me! :) We had little time to work in our area but the time that we did have we had some great success!! :) Thanks for all the prayers and love that you have sent my way!! Not too much to report on this week but know that is well on this side. The bush is still....well bushy haha! Much love, Elder Merz

Monday, April 2, 2018

I better send off this email before the internet pretends it is not working. We visited many less-actives this last week. We are trying to focus on meeting with members, and less-actives and having them give us referrals who we can then teach with there help. At church we saw 7 less-actives! So i guess you could say we saw the fruits of that work. Part of our missionary purpose is to also help those people who have joined the church but are now in the group we call "less-active". These people just need some help with seeing the gospel change there lives and it is a privledge to help them. Speaking of baptisms though. I don't know if i mentioned it last week but last Sunday we had a baptism of a girl named Justine. We finished teaching her and then she got baptized. Her whole family is members but did not get baptized at 8. So we baptized her, she is 10 if your wondering. Then this Sunday, yesterday, we had 2 baptisms. Sister Matrine and one of her daughters Trizah. The husband to Matrine is a member and he baptized both of them. It has been a great couple of Sundays! Sundays are my favourite day of the week so far. We are teaching this guy named Paul. Last time we saw him his sister was there and we taught them the restoration. When we went back yesterday he said how him and his sister really love how we teach and also what we teach. He then proceeded to ask how he can join our church, it caught us a bit by surprise but we were more than happy to answer! We explained how we need to go through the lessons, he needs to keep commitments, come to church, be interviewed, and overall develop his own testimony of the truthfulness of what we are sharing with him. I am loving the people here, they are so great. On Saturday we also attended a funeral. The guy was in his 20s and was baptized in our church and then went to Nairobi and got kinda lost from the church. But he was barried here. The funeral was unlike anything i have ever experienced in my whole life. I cant explain all of it. But lets just say we had a good time. Being the only white guy in i think the surrounding 50 or more kilometers i was called upon to give a talk at the funeral. And since its like a village there was lot of people there. So i on the spot got up and gave a talk in front of like 250 people. I connected Matt. 28: 5-7 with Alma 40: 11-12. A lot of the people thanked me for my talk and said it was a very nice one. When it came to barrying they sang some songs, then some drunk guys put the casket in the hole and started smoking some weed and there was lots of noise and just something else. I dont really know how to describe it! But i loved it! We afterwords went to Bro. Donalds house for some lunch, i helped clean all the dishes for all the members of our church that went there. I love to give others help and service. My prayers and heart go out to my dear Grandpa. I love you with all my heart Grandpa. I have spent countless hours with you and i cherish them. I look forward to spending more time with you and creating even more memories and laughs. Get well Grandpa, I love you. Words can not say or share how much you mean to me and how much i care about you. You really are my best friend. Stay strong Grandpa. Love, Elder Merz

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I have been moved out of Mombasa. I will miss the people and the place very much. It was one of the hardest places for me to leave. That place has a part of my heart. I am now in this tiny tiny place called Mautuma. It was about a 18 hour trip here. This is BUSH! The nearest paved road is 2 hours away....1 hour bike and 1 hour car ride. This place is so tough honestly. Its super hilly. We have bikes called Buffalos. So imagine going Mountain Biking, but on a 50+ pound massive BMX bike, that is what it is like here. But i love it. My new companion is Elder Limu, another Zimbabwean. I am excited to work with him and he goes home in 9 weeks!!! We have lots of fun so far! I dont have time today to email everyone back but hopefully next week, i seems i am saying that every week but hey maybe one day. I have pictures to show and send you so i will let them be my email for this week. Lots of prayers to my best friend, my Grandpa Fred. I love you so much Grandpa ❤ Love, Elder Merz

Monday, March 5, 2018

Lucy is a new investigator we have this week. She was a referral from an awesome member who lives in Provo who came here for a few weeks and he met her on the beach and gave us the referral and she is now progressing great!! We had a lesson with her and just got to know each other, more of an introductory lesson. She has come to church twice now and has already made some new friends with people around her age at church! We went and met with Glory at her new home. She moved from Utange and now lives in Majengo. We were able to go see where her new place is and have a very nice lesson of the Restoration. There is a lot of power that comes from the little 20 minute Restoration video. We saw it and she loved it!! We are excited to continue to meet with her as well. We did some great contacting this week and we had an incredible experience, at least to me. We knocked on this door and a lady came to the window by her door and opened it and so we talked to her through the window. We introduced who we were and gave her a pamphlet to read. She then asked if we have a minute that we could help her. We said of course. She came to the door opened up and then we had about a 20 minute conversation about families and the gospel. She very sadly got cheated on by her husband and even left being a Christian for her husband who is a Muslim. She said she went back to Christianity and believes that one day he can join us as well. We expressed the love the God has for her. How His son knows all of the pain we are going through and how the unique gospel that WE have will change not only her life but also her husbands. It will change her family forever!!! That was such a cool spiritual experience for me. This week has many birthdays!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best brother ever! My younger brother Spencer turned 17 on the 4th and is still kickin it and slaying! Happy Birthday bro cant wait to hang out with you again!! Also to my great cousin Tim who is on his mission in Cali, he is killing it out in the field and helping so many people! He is an example to me and such an incredible person! i hope he had a fantastic birthday turning 20! Elder Bandi (my companion) his mothers birthday was also on the 3rd like Tims! So they are now only giving us an hour to email....so my weekly emails and emails back to everyone will probably be shorter since now i have no time....thanks.... the week has been very well and I wish the Lord blesses those loved people i have back in that foreign country called America. My prayers are going out to one of my very good friends Erik Haas. He was in a huge accident back in downtown, Salt Lake. He was taken to the hospital is extreme critical condition but heard he is doing well. So during this next week if anyone wants to include him in your prayers. Lots of love for you Erik. Stay strong bro! Love is in the Boost Love, Elder Merz

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Not much time today to email so for the personal replies please be patient i will get back to you!! They announced on Sunday that the President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Holland will be coming here to Kenya! To Nairobi! Not sure if we will get to go but hey it is a huge blessing to the members here!! We are now teaching Hezbon and Silvias other daughter Rose. We are there to kind of control the lesson, but they are the ones teaching her, because we feel it is important for parents to teach there children. It has been awesome so far. She is going to be baptized on the 18th of March and we also thought that Hezbon should be the one to baptize her. Hezbon was interviewed and on Sunday he received the Aaronic Priesthood!! There has been so much progress with them!! 😃 Yesterday we didn't email because we were living in a construction site...they re-did our whole kitchen and one of our bathrooms so everything was in a horrible mess. I dont like things to be dirty and so Elder Bandi and I cleaned our flat for 5 hours yesterday and then went and saw Monica again. She came to church and is progressing well! The week went well and we had some great lessons with people. I love helping people and seeing the changes that come into there lives! It is a blessing to be able to help these great people here. We have some people that the Lord has truly prepared and we are always excited to meet with them again and again. Susan and Lilian got interviewed yesterday and they are going to be baptized this next Sunday on the 4th. Its a birthday gift for my brother! Haha They are very excited and when they were asked who they wanted to baptize them, they said "Someone with the priesthood authority!" hahaha what a perfect answer! My birthday was a great great day! We went and visited Silvia and work and Hezbon was there even there 2 daughters that are still at home, they didn't have school that day. We got some free lunch from them and shared some good laughs together. We went and saw Susan and Lilian and had a great lesson with them, and saw how the Book of Mormon is changing there lives. We went to the beach with Juma (a priest), and then went and saw Erida and Roney and had like the best lesson ever with them. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and the spirit was just really there. They were able to understand them well and wanted the blessings that come from following them! They fed us some really good food. ANNNNNDDDD I got drenched again...they got me with buckets of water so i went outside and then like 10 of there neighbors and a bunch of kids all got me wet as well. Hahaha i think that is such a funny tradition and yeah i gotta go home we once again. The missionaries called me or texted me wishing me a happy birthday and Sister Msane as well. The week was a great one, and my birthday was one I wont forget! Have a great week and stay blessed! Love, Elder Merz