Monday, October 23, 2017

This week has been an adventure!! From Tuesday to Thursday afternoon i was back with Elder Mwanziu on exchanges. To get to there place you have to get in a taxi i guess youd call it. You fit 15 people in it....the cars are a little bit smaller than the early 2000's Subaru Foresters....yeah 15!!!!! It is incredible and if your wondering not comfortable at all. Your stuck like that for an hour until you get to Nitiri. Then you bike for an hour to get to there area. Its not fun. But we visited with some good people there, biked all over and enjoyed the beauty. We went to the Nzoia river as well and dang its pretty! pics will be added!! We then switched back and traveled alot of the day to get back to Kitale. Man the lord will give you strength even if you think it might be dumb. He gave me the strength to ride uphill in the slippery mud for an hour. Then on Friday....yooo what an fun day. We met with the Huruma Elders from Eldoret in this place called Moi's bridge which is halfway between us and in both of our areas. They had a guy who is super interested and invited a ton of missionaries but it was us 4. So we met and then met up with him. He directed us to his house because he had to go buy something. He said "You see that tree? Turn left there, follow the road straight and then wait at the second bridge" Ummm.....yeah.....okay.....then he met back up with us after us walking for an hour and half. He walked us to his house and on the way told us he is a polygamist...we got to his place and 2 of his wifes and 5 of his children were there. We had a great lesson with the kids but the adults were all busy with something else. We got fed some very yummy mutton and potatoes and cabbage. We then went and planted 4 trees for each of us missionaries that were there and he is gonna get little placks to mark them! We took lots of pictures. He cut us all a sugar cane and we then walked in the pitch dark an hour and a half back to main road. Oh and let me add it was POURING rain! So we were absoutley soaked and then no cars were coming so we had to walk to the town and then get one. It was so much fun! Being a missionary is great! You come to enjoy the things like being drenched and all the little hard things or things you have to go though, you enjoy it because your a missionary. Then on Sunday Lucy, the polygamists oldest daughter came to church and we had a lesson with her after church! She is a new investigator and we are excited to teach her!! This week is the re-elections. Not really sure what is going to happen because one of the guys said he is not doing it so they can then re-schedule but the other guy is saying it will still happen so who knows!! Pray for the missionaries safety!! Everyone in the 801, enjoy the fall for me. Its my favorite time of the year and so i just ask you to enjoy it for me! 😊🎃⛄ Love, Elder Merz

Thursday, October 12, 2017

So on the 4th it was a good day! We had our DDM and set goals as a District. At our chapel the Pehrsons were there doing a temple preperation class. So after both meetings we met again! They then invited us to lunch with them and we went. I contacted this white lady who was at lunch and turns out shes a baptist and has lived here for 12 years...but she gave me her number to set up a time to meet! We also later that day went and did some tracting and had some great success! We met with a guy who wants us to come back and meet with him. He seemed interested. We then went and met with another guy who we had a lesson with right there about the Restoration and he was very interested!! It was so great and we have plans to meet with him as well! We also walked basically to Uganda. Haha not really but we walked like an hour and a half on a road to go and visit some less actives. It was worth it though! We had great lessons with them and we passed a school that just got out and a tooon of kids were following us because...well im still white somehow. But Elder Mayekiso and i decided to jump around and scare we did. And we made one of them legitly cry and was scared....oops. Haha but the lessons with the 2 less actives were so great and we even got fed by one of them! I forgot my camera but we will go soon so you guys can see the bush! Also on the 6th was my Hump Day! It was a Great day!!!.....NOT.....let me tell you why. SO due to the elections here and our safety we are told to stay indoors every monday and friday. So for my 1 year i got to stay inside all day...HOORAY! It was still good though! :) I just called Sister Pehrson and wished her a Happy Birthday instead. We also saw half of General Conference....will see the other half on Sunday. But the saturday sessions were great!! I will attatch my favorite talks for anyone who is interested to see them again or for the first time! I liked all the talks given but these ones were my favourite ones! I hope you will enjoy them as well! 😊 All is going well here and I love you all! thanks for all the love and support! Lots of Kenyan love, Elder Merz
So i got transferred to Kitale. It is the "bush" as we call it here. Its super nice and pretty. I dont have much time though today to email so i will just send pictures and hope you guys enjoy them! I have some good stories for next week though so be ready!! :) Lots of love, Elder Merz

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

On Tuesday we went and saw Sister Dorcus at her home. She is a Kamba and all kamba's loooove githeri. So she made Elder Otika, Bro. Wafula, and I some githeri. It was veryy good buuut she gave us MASSIVE plates and each an avocado. Now these avocados were not normal. They were bigger than softballs! We ate, and ate and ATE!!! That was for lunch. Didnt have dinner that night and the next morning had a small breakfast! We also heard on the news that was playing at her house about the next James Bond! The next one is coming out like Nov. 8th 2019 and it will be Daniel Craigs last Bond film! Excited for that! We taught her about tithing and fast offerings and it went great. We talked about that in the Gospel Principles class we have the Sunday before so it was great! We went and taught Lilian again but this time it was a bit different. We only got to see her for about 10 minutes because she was leaving to go meet up with her family for her cousins funeral who just passed away. But we shared with her scriptures about the Resurrection and about the spirit world and you could just see in her face peace. That lesson was a hard one for me and the entire time i had a lump in my throat like in just a few seconds im gonna start to cry, and eventually a few tears rolled down my cheeks but it was great to just share those truths with her. Families and temples. We went to Sister Stella's house and talked about families and temples with her and her mother. Stella is preparing to go to the temple and her mother who is not a member wanted to know more about our temples. So we talked about the importance of temples today and baptisms for the dead. We prepared super well and almost every question she had we had at least 1 or 2 scriptures just from the bible to read. It was great to have her ask us a question and then to be able to have her open HER bible and read the scripture and then she was like hmmm well okay it says it right here!! We then shared with her some nice temple videos on YouTube from Stella's computer and it went great! Families and temples are the 2 best things!! We also met with John twice this week and he is really progressing well! Something that he loves and that stands out a lot to him is the atonement. And how perfect and wonderful to have stand out to someone. If they understand the atonement they understand Christs role and importance in there life. I hope we will all understand and apply the Atonement in our lives. I also got to do another interview. This guys name is Elphas. he is a great guy and was making me laugh in the interview!!! He was saying how he needs someone big and strong to baptize him so he doesn't drown in the water and have to jump out like a fish. He then asked if i could do it and i explained that i couldn't haha! Then after the interview as we were walking out and he saw the other Elders he said "He asked simple questions! He must have omitted the hard ones!" and we all just burst out laughing! Hahaha it helped me to realized though that the gospel really is simple! Sunday was great! In Priesthood Brother Osienya was roasting Brother Shikuku. They were saying how the quorum should give some money to help one of the guys who is getting married and Shikuku was complaining a little bit. And then Osienya was like Shikuku things are different. "In your day you find a wife by going and fetching water" it might not sound funny but EVERYONE was laughing! And then we had 2 baptisms of Sister Dorcus and Brother Felix. The bishop baptized both of them and they're testimonies afterwords were so strong! They were so happy and just looked so fresh and new and changed. I love to see that change in people it is the best feeling and thing to see. That has been my week. I hope you all have a great week and for my people in UT. Enjoy the nice fall you are going to have! :) Until next week, Elder Merz

Monday, September 4, 2017

So they are saying no more plastic bags here in Kenya. And they have a nice punishment to go along with it! $40,000USD and up to 2 years in prison! Hahaha niiiiice right? So to start off the week we got on a bus and it was all good. They are doing a lot of consturction around here and the bus we took like backed up and just drove on the wrong side of the road a few times and did a few U turns in places we werent supposed to but EVERYONE does that so it is okay. But then a police man hoped on and yelled at the driver and conductor and made us drive straight RIGHT back into the first jam that we got out of. Then later on we went to Mlolongo and I got to do an interview for them. The guys name is Daniel and from Nigeria and just a greeeat guy! I love to interview people especially people who know so much already and who are so ready to follow the example of Christ! Daniel was fantastic though. He showed me so much respect and called me Sir. I dont think I have ever been called Sir before, only call other people Sir. But now i know why i was taught to call people sir at home. Because it makes you feel good and shows how much respect you have for the person. Go read Revelation 3:21 its a nice scripture. Mary our recent convert was getting upset the other day when we met with her....not because of us. But because she was wondering why people hate, bash, degrade, or disregard our church. So we just helped her to understand that it is part of being a follower of Christ. And helped her to remember that Even Christ wasn't accepted and loved by everybody. She is doing so great though!! :) So the guy that lost the elections took the elections to court because he felts there was massive cheating. And there was.....the party that one they said that all of theyre people (mayors, judges, officials) (the kenyan equivelant of those) they said that they ALL won by 54% of the votes. Its like come on guys! If your gonna lie or cheat AT LEAST do it where it might be a little bit convincing!! So yeah they are going to have elections again but EVERYONE seems to be happy about it so things are going well so far! I would lastly like to share one thing. I read something this last week and it said this "Parents, grandparents, and leaders, your message must be clear." Then it continued to go on and talk about the importance of setting a good example. Here are some words i would like to add on that. In showing our (your) children we need to be clear. By our example they will see our commitment to follow Christ. Prayer they can see. But something that came to my mind was with scripture study. Yes the gospel library is a great app and tool to have! But make sure you have and use real tangible scriptures! because if your child doesnt see the screen of your phone or your focus ont he word of god they will just think and see the example of you always on your phone. And they will follow that screen to face attitude and not learn the importance of reading the scriptures. Read with them from the tangible pages of the word of god. And from the screen show them videos or other benefits of the technology. Hope you have all had a great week and have a great week this next week! Love you all and thanks for all the love and support! Elder Merz #1 The internet is now sucking so I will have to send pictures at a later date.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

So this week is my Dads brithday! I am so grateful and thankful for him and all that he has done for me in my life. For being a great example and leader and just fantastic all around! If you see him wish him a happy birthday! Congrats on being 50 haha! love you dad!! ❤ Hope you have the best birthday! So this week we got to meet some members of our new district. Elder Coombs. Sister Kiio. And Elder Gimeyi and his trainee Elder Wilde. It was great to meet with all of them and things will go great with us! We get along great! We met with Brother Matika and his wife Elizabeth again this Wednesday but we split up so i went with Elder Cotts and he interviewed her for baptism. We then talked about somethings. They want there baby Samuel to have a baby blessing and Brother Matika wants his patriarchal blessing! So i told him how he can get those things done. We then read some of the Book Of Mormon with them and there baby was making noises the whole time so it was abit hard. But something interesting happened. When we were closing with a prayer the baby didnt make one peep the entire prayer! Then right after we said amen it started making noise again! Thats the power of the holy ghost!! It was awesome! We lost our phone on slipped out of Elder Otikas pocket on the bus and someone apparently wanted the crappiest phone that orbits the earth so yeah we gotta get a new one. But on Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. It went well and they talked about the importance of self-reliance as well as how important it is for members to work with the full time missionaries as well as be missionaries themselves! I have been reading an Ensign that we have at our flat and am loving it. I would like to share something from a talk I liked as well as here is the link for the full talk. You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents. The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always. He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always! Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe? He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become. More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny—to return to your heavenly home in honor. I really love this. God loves each and every one of us. He is not waiting for us to be perfect to love us. He KNOWS us. Not he knows OF us. But he KNOWS us. He knows our struggles, weaknesses, pains, sorrows, desires, passions, hobbies, etc. He knows we have made wrong choices and mistakes but HE STILL LOVES US! He does not care about what makeup, clothes, car, house, or anything. He loves us as we are but also for who we can become. I cant really explain how much God loves us or is there for us but he loves us so much. I hope this helps some of you to know how much God loves you and is there for you. I hope you all to have a great week and be safe! Again Happy Birthday Dad!! 🎆🎉🎈🎊❤ Love, Elder Merz

Monday, August 21, 2017

So the report for a few weeks is not very big. The Lucky Summer Elders came to stay at our flat. That is Elder Brown and Elder Nyanhamo. So we had 5 Elders in our house. It was great though! We all got a long very well and no one got killed surprisingly. But it was awesome to be with Elder Brown my first ever companion on the mission wayy back to the MTC days! We have both came so far! All of the days except for 3 we were strictly stuck inside not even in the compound. But 3 days we were allowed out so we got together with the other Elders and just partied and talked with them. Elder Brown also brought an American football so elder Card, Brown and I threw it around and all the little kids were trying to take it haha! Its funny all 3 of us were running backs as well! But now everything seems to be going okay and safe so that is good! Googling about the elections here would give you more information than i can give to you haha. But this last week we were able to go out for 3 days. So the transfer news came as well. Elder Mbaya left for Mountain View with Elder Carlson. But Otika and I are staying here!! Excited for this! A lot of our investigators are still coming back from up country so we had a hard time to meet with them but we were able to visit a few members and recent converts and have great lessons with them! Also a miracle happened! My comp and I as we leave in the morning we say a pray. I prayed that day that as we were at the church meeting with some of our investigators that the Lord would provide us a new investigator who will be good. Who speaks good English and is ready for the gospel. While we were at church a new car came in and the soldier came over and introduced us. The guy lives by the church and passes it everyday. So we gave him a tour of the church as well as we got his number. He also got to meet with Bishop and a member of the stake presidency and he had some very good questions by someone who really does just wanna know the truth about out church! The craziest thing is that he listens to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir like every morning for an hour!!! So it was a direct answer to my prayer for that morning!! We are planning to meet with him this week!! Also on Sunday another new guy just showed up who lives by the church and we talked with him and he participated in all of our classes and is as well "a kingdom builder" if you would. We are going to meet with him on Saturday! We were able to extend a baptismal date to brother Felix who is the Bishops nephew and yeah overall it was a pretty good week!! Lots of love and hopefully more stories for next week. Stay safe and for those going back to school I wish you luck! Especially to my amazing Brother and Sister! Also a little shout out to my little brother for being a great mechanic to my car! Love you bro keep it up and we'll have a duel when i get back! Or just work on the cars together...hahaha Love, Elder Merz