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

Monday, April 30, 2018

Elder Brown is our new District Leader here. It was a fun time picking him up. Our Zone stayed in the Kitale flat and him and I talked about mission and about people in Buru Buru (since he replaced me) it was a great time and i am very excited to work with my first MTC companion now out in the field as we both have experience behind us. This week we did some community service and washed at a Hospital in Naitiri. It was a great thing and the guy was even like "So what do you want me to tell the community about you guys?" hahaha what a great thing to ask us. Let us tell you who we are and who we are representing!! On Thursday (the same day we did that service) we went to the Sitati home. Elder Sitati's family is in Naitiri and we went and saw them and got to visit with them and even get some dinner!! It was FAAAR though!!! We biked over 50km that day in mud, rain, and up huge hills (Again on our super hard bikes). My chain fell off twice and once going down this huge hill so i had no brakes, but i survived. Elder Limu's came off once. We were biking in the dark as well, like pitch dark on mud and bumps, haha i cant explain it good but it was an adventure! Then a miracle happened. The member that was with us was borrowing a bike that has a very slow leak in the front tire. We got to this big hill where we go home and his tire was flat. A few seconds later an older gentleman was passing us on his bike (we passed him before) and on his bike he had a bike pump. No one carries a bike pump with them, especially here. But at the exact moment we needed it so that we could arrive at home safely and on time for curfew our angel showed up. And he had a Christlike heart and stopped, helped us fix it and we were all on our way. We gave him a pamphlet and told him about us obviously. Was it a coincidence? I dont think so. I think it was the Lords perfect timing and hand in that situation. It was by Divine Design. (Go read the talk from Elder Rasband called Divine Design from the October 2017 conference) and to finish off that day we got home and were wearing all the amount of rain we could wear hahaha!! What a spectacular day!! Church was also great! We somehow had 18 less-actives!! I think that is a record!! The church was very full and even a guy who we recently brought back to full activity in the church baptized his son! We are working hard in all of the branches to get to a stake! There is lots of work to be done and I have the privilege to be a part of it! I know this gospel is true. This is the Lords church on the earth today. This is the place to find that thing that you have been missing, and didn't even know you were missing it. I love Jesus Christ and I am not afraid to tell anyone about Him. I love Him. Love, Elder Merz P.S. - Shoutout to Johnson and Murphy shoes. For an prospective Elder those are my favorite shoes. They are the most comfortable, they have held up the very best, look the best, and your young little missionary feet will stay nice and warm because they are also waterproof and i can testify they are!! Go get some if your going out to serve especially here in the wonderful continent of Africa!

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