Monday, June 18, 2018

This week we had Zone Conference in Eldoret so we slept in our flat for one night and then last Monday we were here in Kitale emailing and then Tuesday we went to Eldoret. Our zone conference was great!!! We talked a lot about the Doctrine of Christ and how it is so important. Go and study yourself these chapters. 2 Nephi 31-32, 3 Nephi 11 & 27. The question was asked How does our understanding of the Doctrine of Christ manifest itself? There were many great answers and contributions but i would like to share 2 quotes, i guess you could call them, from my mission president. He said "A lot of this is in the doing. Not just talking about it." A lot of living and following the Doctrine of Christ is in actually DOING something. Everyone can talk about it. And lets be honest, talk is cheap. Where things happen is in the action. The other thing he said was "We need to understand it that it does in fact, change our natures." I really love my mission President. I am sure everyone can say theirs is the best, but mine is no acception. It also all comes down to HOW we understand the Doctrine of Christ. The more we UNDERSTAND it, the better we will be able to follow Him and the better we will become each and every day. It was interesting, so Elder Card got transferred to Kisumu. And so we were once again together at zone conference. Once again together in Eldoret....i never in my life thought we would both be back in that city at the exact same time. We slept at the Huruma Zone Leaders flat and Elder Card and I slept on the floor on some mattresses. the only thing that bugged us was......a nearby Mosque at legit 3AM starting "praying" and they turned up there microphones to world on like full blast. It woke us both up and we just laughed about it together at 3am haha! This week at the end of the week we extended 3 baptismal dates! We are getting back to work now. And i like that now i am in charge. We are really working on finding new people to teach. We visited manyyy members this week and took them My family books to help them start their family history. We visited this super less-active lady and helped her start to fill out the book with her own information. She loved telling us stories and remembering things and a Miracle happened!!! SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!!! For the entire church block as well as participating in the classes!! Blessings truly do come from Family History! DO YOUR OWN and feel the love for those loved ones you have. Find out their awesome stories. I had a great week and i hope that all of you have a fantastic week as well!! Enjoy the blessings that God will grant you this week! Love from your village boy, Elder C. Merz

Monday, June 11, 2018

So let me explain how last week went. Elder Limu and I woke up at 5 to get picked up at 6 by a taxi guy. The taxi got stuck in the mud and didnt show up until 7. We had to load up his stuff and drive suuuuper fast to Misikhu to pick up Elder Brown and Elder Phokane. We did the drive in 40 minutes, and we were FLYING!! Thats like world record speed LOL. We picked them up and then the guy had to drive super fast as well to Kitale so that they would not miss there bus, which left at 9 sharp. We met with the Kitale Elders there, printed the tickets and they caught the bus by Gods grace!! Elder Brown is going to Kayole to be a Zone Leader, Elder Pratt is going to Lucky Summer Nairobi, and Elder Limu is being transferred to Zimbabwe LOL. Then my new comp. Elder Ncube came that evening but we had to sleep in Kitale. The next morning we took Elder Konyana (Elder Pratts old comp) to the bus station because he is going to Nairobi and training a new guy. Then we had to wait all day and pick up Elder Munayiri who is the new District Leader here and is with Elder Phokane. But our areas are way to far to go there so we slept another night in the kitale flat even though no kitale missionary was there. The next morning we took a taxi that dropped those guys at there flat in Misikhu and then took us to Mautuma. The mud roads were more of a horrible slip-n-slide due to the rain. But we made it. Elder Ncube got to unpack a few things and pack his bag for Nairobi and the taxi took us back to Misikhu. We were in Mautuma for about 30 minutes. We took a matatu to Kitale and slept there again! 3rd night in a row! And then we left in the morning from the Kitale bus station to Nairobi for MLC. (Missionary leaders meeting with the Mission President). We picked up the Eldoret Zone Leaders and the sister training leaders, so it was fun the travel with them! Especially with my boy Elder Fraga! We had MLC and i learned some great things (i will share in a minute) then Saturday we traveled back to the western part of Kenya. After a 10 hour bus ride and some traffic and traveling issues we had to stay with the Misikhu elders because we would have gotten home super late if we went to our area. So then Sunday we had to wake up super early again (5am for the 3rd time this week) and travel to Naitiri where we attended church and then we went to the flat and slept there last night. So we were in our area 1 day the whole week. We are so sick of traveling, buuut lucky us we have zone conference this week so we are traveling to Eldoret tomorrow LOL!! In MLC we talked about how we can give it our all as missionaries. The Lord really does and will help us as we learn to trust in him and do what he wants us to do. Miracles are happening here in Kenya and each companionship should be able to experience them! I hope this week everyone can trust in the Lord more. His promises are real, and can not be broken. He WILL hold up his end of the deal, but is up to us if we are going to follow through with our end. I love Him and the blessings that he has given me. Even though this last week we were not in our area he still blessed us with a new invistigator who we even set a bapitsmal date with. He knows us, and our situatuions. He loves us soooo much, even if you are sitting on a bus for 10 hours traveling cross country. I wish you all the best this week as you trust in the Lord more. And feel of His blessings, love, and peace. Lots of Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, June 4, 2018

I slept in my bed 2 times this last week, we went to Kitale and had a going away party for Elder Limu. We just got some meat and Elder Pratt and I made some chapatis and we had some fun together! We did some flat checks again and then Elder Limu went back to Mautuma with Elder Phokane and i went to Misikhu with Elder Brown. It was so awesome to go on exchanges with my first MTC companion. Let me just say we are MUCH better than we were in the MTC lol! We visited some less-actives and some investigators and had really great lessons. He is so powerful and a great missionary. We also got to share some memories of people in Buru Buru (since he replaced me when i left). It was a great great exchange and from it they were able to see a few less actives that we visited come to church. That was for tuesday and wednesday. We also got some new invesitgators and referrals together!! Thursday was an adventure of its own. So we had an interview that needed to be done in Mautuma so we waited in a matatu for over an hour until it left. On the way it broke down AGAIN and so we had to help the driver fix it and then off we went again. We passed the other Elders coming from Naitiri and we stopped the cars, switched keys and continued forward. Long story short it took us about 5 hours to get from Misikhu to Naitiri. We grabbed the bikes that the other Elders left for us and biked to Mautuma. The chains fell off about a milliion times because the chains are super loose and dryer than Elder Browns home state of Arizona. We arrived in Mautuma he did the interview, we grabbed a few things from the flat and biked up the massive hill back to Naitiri. We got there and got a ride to the main road where we got another Matatu back to Misikhu. So literally the whole day we were traveling and did an interview, welcome to Western Kenya. Elder Limu and I then went to Eldoret for a correlation meeting with the district president and we stayed in the night there with Elder Mahanzu and Elder Fraga (who i also came with). Let me just say I love Elder Fraga and have so much respct for him. He is one of my great great friends and i am thankful for him! Elder Limu is off now to Zimbabwe and I will really miss him! Its hard to have a companion go home but i realized someday that will be me. So i am trying to soak everything all in and not let the smallest or biggest things bring me down. This is the Lords work and i have a privledge to help Him in this part of His vineyard. This next week is already crazy and we know what is going to happen but stay tuned for that next week haha! Lots of love from the land of the Lion, Elder Merz

Monday, May 28, 2018

The week has flown by!! I guess that comes with traveling during the week... We had our zone conference in Eldoret on tuesday and wednesday. Honestly not even too many notes were taken. It was a different kind of zone conference but i still learned a lot!! There are 4 friends that are going home at the end of this week so they bore there last testimonies. These are a few things that were said that i really like and know to be true. "We cant help somebody if were not on higher ground." -Elder Manu-Tunei "Each one of us has the potential to become like him." -Elder Limu When we traveled back from Eldoret we had an adventure. We stopped and checked the Kitale and Misikhu flats. We then got in a matatu to go to Naitiri. The roads were suuuuper muddy, slippery and bumpy. But this guy thought we were in a rally car or something. So he was flying and kinda drifting all over the place. We were bouncing like crazy, the 4 of us that were squished in the back. Then we got to a super slippery part and thats when we realized his "professional driving" broke part of the steering column...so one wheel would be straight and the other would be turned. We were trapped out in the middle of no where until the driver was able to ghetto-rig it together. We got to Naitiri when it was dark and we had no option but to ride our bikes home. It was already past our curfew and we had 1 tiny little torch on Elder Limus bike and the road was suuuuuuper muddy, slippery, huge puddles, and we couldnt see. Haha i wont explain all of the situation but it was definitely something else. Also it was raining, i got a rock flung into my shoe but had to keep biking, and yeah it was pitch dark because we are kinda in the middle of no where. Hakuna Matata!! 🦁 I will just send lots of pictures from the week. Its sad to think that Elder Limu is going home at the end of the week but he has done his time!! Haha! Thats basically it for the week. Elder Limu also got sick so we had to be inside for a day. Buuut we had a confirmation and we are re-activating people! I love the work!! :) Continue to pray. All is well in Zion Love, Elder Merz

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This week we went on exchanges with the DL. I went to Misikhu with Elder Phokane. We focused on finding good places to do community service. We went to about 4 hospitals or clinics and i found out there that i am really good at talking with people. Not just about the gospel but also in a situation like that. We had some great success and we helped the people there to see our church is a good one and also 3 of them said they would love for us to do some service there!! It has been raining a looooot recenty and so doing some of the usual work is a bit hard. As traveling the roads are all very muddy and sometimes dangerous with all the rain. But we are still putting in the work to do our best. We got some help from some members as well and had some very great lessons. I love it when an investigator asks serious questions to try to understand better. It makes me feel good to see there interest in the gospel and to truly just understand. Thats all we do as missionaries is help people understand. Sunday was a quite a day! We biked allll the way to Naitiri for the branch conference they were having there but had to leave after sacrament meeting and bike back to Mautuma for the baptism we were having there!! I dont know whats going on but we had 17 LA's, 8 investiagators, and 8 recent converts in Mautuma. And 5 less-actives in Naitiri!! The work is really really going well. People are coming to church, paying there tithing, reaching out to each other and just doing what they are supposed to and they ARE recieving the blessings!!! I am also helping members open family search accounts and on Sunday I helped the first member send some names to the temple!!!!!! 😃 family history here is so different from other places. So that is a biiig big step!!! We were so excited and it was a very special moment! Last thing. Just yesterday this guy who i think is crazy was walking by us. He would like go in front of us do something crazy but we'd keep walking and then he would catch back up to do something crazy again! He had like an empty jug that he set down in front of him and we walked past then he picked it up and got in front of us and then threw it. He also had a stick with him. He stopped and drew a 16 in the dirt then got in front of us again and threw the stick.....then he went and retrieved his stick LOL hahaha like i dont know how to say it but it was super funny! Gotta love all of Gods children!! :) From your favorite mzungu, Elder Merz

Monday, May 14, 2018

I'd like to start of this email by saying that they finally gave us something nice in our mission!! We are now driving Ford Rangers!! (Check the picture) This week we helped a recent convert open up a Family History account, they were really excited about it when we were doing it and wanted to do it for like 5 hours!! but we only gave them 1 and said we can continue another time haha!! We visited lots of members this week. Lots of less-actives and active memebers. We got nice breakfast and the branch presidents house and we did some contacting to an old couple who we had basically no way to communicate because they were speaking there tribal language and we dont speak it as deeply as they do! but it worked out in the end. We also did some other finding and found 3 other people who are intersted to know more about our church! 3 is a great number for Mautuma! Remember we are in the middle of no where! haha We are planning to have a baptism on Sunday of Sister Sharon. Her mother is a member in Buru Buru 2nd ward (where i served) but she is here schooling and staying with her aunt, who happens to be our land lord. She is a great girl and has grown up in and around the church it will be great! We are working with our other investigators and they are loving the lessons!! The work is much different from everywhere else i have served but i love it. I love the change and the new challenges i face here!! Church we are setting records i think haha!! We had 20, yes TWENTY, less-actives at church!! Church was sooooo full!!! We had 87!! That is a loooooot especially in Mautuma!! We are super excited for all the progress we are having and how the work is going!! :) I love to be a missionary!! This might sound horrible especially as a missionary. But we work with a member named Evans. He has a mountain bike and i find joy in his bike making lots of noises like it is breaking and how his chain skips. We also cleaned out Mautuma of phone credit 2900 shillings worth! for the whole zone to call home for mothers day! Also one of the best feelings in the world is when you are under your mosquito net in bed and you hear one of those pesky things trapped outside buzzing around. haaha!! Hope you all have a great week!! Lots of love Elder Merz! PS- We dont really have cars....that is the new senior couples truck in Eldoret.

Monday, May 7, 2018

This week Elder Limu and I went to Nairobi again for MLC. What a looooong ride it is. We went and stayed the night in Eldoret because we had a meeting there and then we went to Nairobi the next day. We took a shuttle (a car) instead of a coach (bus) and we got there about an hour and half faster. It is like a culture shock going from Mautuma to Nairobi. There are so many cars, people, shops, nice things, hahaha it is weird! I learned a lot from MLC and the great missionary leaders we have. The mission has really changed and we are definite stepping up as a mission! I absolutely love President and Sister Msane. They are so smart and really love each of us missionaries and help us to grow. Not much to report since MLC took about the whole week. We got more African rain storms, and extended a baptismal date to Bro. Tom. He is progressing very well, loves church, and is even singing the songs and participating in classes. He is really prepared and is understanding the truth. Being a missionary is the best thing ever 😊 So a few funny things from this week....hey Will, Luis, Spencer, or any of my Uncles....ever seen someone do an alignment for a car with ropes? Yep these guys were using ropes to try to align everything "straight" i wish you could have seen it you all would have laughed so hard! Another one....So this one comes from MLC. So it takes us in total about 14 hours to travel to Nairobi from my area. And here they dont have stop lights, just speed bumps. So we were coming back to our area and the bus drivers switched. We we going pretty fast and the driver didnt see a speed bump so we hit it and EVERYONE was out of there seats in the air, scattered around the bus. And they also dont use seat belts....so like me i was in the very back (where it is the worse for bumps) i was laying down across the seats sleeping and then we hit it and my legs hit the seats in front of me, my feet hit the windows, and i fleeeew into the air and off onto the floor....hahaha it hurt and like everyone was upset, buuuut it was a fun experience haha! Just imagine now being someone not in the bus but on the road...you see a big bus (a coach) flying towards you and you know there is a speedbump...but the bus does not seem to be slowing at all....the bus hits the speed bump and probably gets some air its self and then you see everyone inside go flying hahaha!!! What an experience!! 😂😂😐 #OnlyInKenya Shoutout to my Sister Alexis who is getting married on the 10th!!! I wish i could be there in person but ill be there in spirit! Enjoy your special day and know that ill be thinking about you!! ❤ Until next week, Elder Merz