Monday, November 13, 2017

Hey Clan! What an absolutely busy week! On Tuesday morning we left Kitale on a bus to Nairobi, Elder Mayekiso and I. It was a fun 8 1/2 hour bus ride! We then met up with Elder Sibanda at the EasyCoach station in Nairobi and waited there for an hour for our ride. We got picked up and got to travel through town at night to the mission home. We met our trainee's and the other missionaries it was nice. I also was super duper lucky to be able to see Elder Lotuleilei 1 last time before he went home! He flew that night at Midnight and from what i am told received a nice warm welcome from you guys! My mission son is named Elde Tshangu. He is from the DRC Congo and speaks actually pretty good english! I am still having to help him but it is good! He is so awesome! I also got to be with and say goodbye to Elder and Sister Torrie. They are the best and the entire mission including myself will deeply miss them! But we got to meet with new couples the Sutherlands. We are excited to work with them! :) We then took a train for 5 1/2 hours to Mombasa. We got picked up and taken to our flat and we are splitting an area and opening some parts of the new area as well. We are with Elder Call and Elder Mathemara they are both obviously the best! :) We were able to get 5 new investigators this week as well as 3 member referrals in just the 3 short days we had to work last week! :) We contacted on the beach last night and had some GREAT success! We met Trudy form Atlanta Georgia and this girl Winnie from Nairobi! I love contacting people and hopefully sparking some excitement in them! :) All is well here and I love it here! Thanks so much for the prayers and I am returning them back to you guys! I also wish all the best for my Grandpa and his surgery that he had! All my love and support is with you Grandpa! Stay strong! Lots of love, Elder C. Merz

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

So there is lots to say for the few weeks that have gone away. So i will brielfy say some things that have happened but not add to much detail to the ones that are long ago. So we were locked down again for elections pt. 2. This time the Kisumu Elders and the Busia Elders came and stayed with us. Good thing our house is pretty big and we have enough little mattresses! The Elders that came are Elder Rasmussen, Elder Odhiambo, Elder Covarubbias, Elder Sibanda, Elder Fraga, and Elder Sunu. We had a total of 5 different countries in our flat lol. We all had a ton of fun and all got along which is great. We also went and spent fancy.....getting an ironing board.... So Happy Late Halloween to you all. For elections lockdown we just chilled, studied, laughed, played, and of course ate. We had to be careful not to become abstemious though. It was so awesome though! I really got to know each one of them more and get more friends. And the ones i was already friends with we just got closer! I would like to just share some of my favorite memories from about a year ago. Right before i left. The first would be going on a cruise with Luis on State and then going to IHop and having some nice pancakes together. Going to Frightmares with Will, Kerri, and Hope. Going up to Brighton and Guardsman Pass with Will and Lex Bett and hiking around and playing in the snow. Those were great times! Now for the things i miss about the season. So enjoy it for me. I miss the nice cool evenings. The days getting shorter. The leaves changing and falling on the ground. Being able to see your breath. Getting all dressed up in hoodies and pants. The Halloween party and Grandma Freds. Miss all the Halloween decorations. Helping Grandpa Fred pick up all of the leaves with the help of my awesome brother, cousins, aunts and uncles. Going on a nice fall evening walk. High school football and snuggling up close to the people next to you to stay warm. Driving into the towering Rockies to see the fall colors and go on some majestic hikes. Starting to use the car heater. Pumpkin patches. Corn Mazes. Haunted Houses. Frightmares at Lagoon. Carving pumpkins and seeing them line the doorsteps of houses. The Halloween smells. Halloween parties and candy. Seeing all the little kids out trick-or-treating and reminiscing on those great days. All the nice fall dates. Fires in the back yards, at Tims and in the Mountains. I sincerely miss all the Halloween decorations and the spirit of Halloween and the Fall. Now for some quick news. So i have been in Kitale for only 6 weeks. But i am now leaving. I am being transferred to Bamburi branch in Mombasa. I am also training a new missionary from DRC Congo....yeah wasent expecting that...so wish me luck. Ill need your prayers im super nervous about this but in the end everything will be alright! Love you all and thanks for the support and prayers for Kenya Love, Elder Merz

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

So i literally have like 5 minutes to just send an email. I am safe. The Kisumu Elders and the Busia Elders are staying with us so its a party of 8 at our house. Umm yeah. Lots to say but no time so i will just have a massively long one next time. Hope you all enjoyed Halloween yesterday. One of my most absolute favourite holidays! We are safe and good as of now. But things are crazy here in Kenya so if you want to see what the news of it all is, just google it. The church is true. Joseph Smith truly was a prophet called from God and restored back the church that was lost after Christ and the Apostles were killed. I know the gospel will bless the lives of anyone who accepts it and follows it. Choosing to serve the Lord and come out on a mission has been one of the best decisions i have made that will benefit my life now and forever. Everyone whether you are a member or not. Whether you read my emails at all. Just pray. Everyone can pray no matter what they believe, and I can promise that by doing that you will be blessed by the Lord. Lots of love until next time, Elder C. Merz

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 them...so we did. And we made one of them cry...like 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! https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/three-sisters?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/a-yearning-for-home?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/i-have-a-work-for-thee?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/be-ye-therefore-perfect-eventually?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/spiritual-eclipse?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/by-divine-design?lang=eng https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/the-book-of-mormon-what-would-your-life-be-like-without-it?lang=eng 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