Monday, December 4, 2017

So this week we stayed in doors on Tuesday and for half of Wednesday. We got told we could go out on Wednesday and we tried to meet with some people but we had to be at the Likoni Elders Flat by 6 and we had to pack up our bags...so we weren't able to meet with anyone. Staying with them was nice though. There flat is super sweet. You can see the ocean from it! Then the next day we woke up at 5am. I was up like all night because my couch cushion bed kept falling apart..but no complaints! 😊 we took a tuk-tuk at 6 and went to the SGR train station and almost missed our train. We were off the Mtito Andei Chyulu for our zone conference. It was a 3 hour train ride and it was nice! First class again. We got to Chyulu and then took the ride to Makutano where we would be staying. That place is also bush!! Our zone conference was great. I really loved it! Some scriptures were shared that i really loved that i would like to share with you. The topic was about Being Our Brothers Keeper. And to me that is part of the whole idea and spirit of Christmas! So these are the scriptures you can go and look up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Alma 41:14-15, 1 Sam 18: 1-3, and D&C 38: 23-25. On Sunday we had some great lessons though! On our way to see Brother Hesbon and his family we were talking with another guy who we were going to meet with but another friend showed up. She didnt live far and was interested to know more. So she took us to her house and we sat outside and talked and we got to know each other well and they are all interested to know more! We invited them to the Christmas party we are having on Saturday and they said they would all come!! We then went and met with Brother Hesbon and his family and had an incredible lesson about the Plan of Salvation! We gave 2 of them a baptismal date of the 24th and they accepted and the other 2 want to think some more about it! We will know the answer by Wednesday when we see them again! It was a fantastic Sunday and we are so excited for our Christmas party this Saturday and hope to have a huge turn out!! I love the Christmas season so much! This will be my first truly tropical Christmas but I am deeply looking forward to seeing how it is done on the coast! :) All the best as we Light The World! #LightTheWorld Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, November 27, 2017

The accounting for the last 2 weeks is as follows... So 2 weeks ago the work was going well. (It still is) But during that week we got 13 new investigators and 10 new investigators! Our days are getting so jam packed with people we need to see and meet! Recent Converts, Less-actives, Members, and of course our investigators!! Every Sunday we meet with this investigator. And last week he introduced us to his entire family...and they are alllll interested and super great learners and just the best! The Lord truly does provide people and is preparing people to receive the restored gospel and all of the blessings associated with it. We have had 2 great lessons with them. The first about the Restoration and the second about the Book of Mormon and a part of the Plan of Salvation. They have been such spirit filled lessons and 2 of them know for sure the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and want to be baptized! So we are working with the rest of them so they can receive that same confirmation! 😃😃 its one of the best joys in the mission field! So for our weekly District meetings we have to cross on a ferry from an island back to the mainland. It is kinda fun, makes me miss being out on the lake....buuut it is interesting and we have seen some MASSIVE ships at the port! 😮 We also have an awesome investigator named Wachira. He is a guy we contacted but lives right by the church and works right by it as well. He is a barber but has the nicest dreads and is suuuuch an awesome guy! I love him and he is also understanding the gospel super well. The gospel truly is simple, and what a blessing that truly is. No need to make it complex or hard, that's why the gospel is for everyone who accepts to follow it. Even an 8 year old can understand and choose to follow Christ or not. He has a 6 year old daughter and he came to church and reallly loved it and says he will come every Sunday! He is such a great guy! Giving off them Positive Vibes. For our Thanksgiving it was verrrry nice....a bit spoiled we are actually...so there is a family in our branch named the Fairbournes. They are from Utah but have lived here for about 5 years. They invited all the Mombasa missionaries over and really spoiled us. They have a nice house that over looks the ocean and another family from Highland Utah was there visiting. We had turkey, stuffing, yams, green string beans, jello with RASPBERRIES!!!, gravy, mashed potatoes, and probably more haha! It was sooooo good! But after just 1 plate i felt as though i was about to die...but they ALSO had pies....pumpkin, banana cream, and a few others. They dont compare to your pies though Grandma Nelson 😉. That family from Utah also came with a 44 pound of candy and sodas (Dr. pepper and A&W Root Beer) for us....ahh it was the best! And Sister Fairbourne also let all of us missionaries send a quick video home so check that out on my facebook and sorry for the not so good quality...she just pulled me outside and told me to say something to my family at home so it was just a spur of the moment...lost for words...but it was the absolute best!! We also went to the Bamba water factory and played a few of the workers in Volleyball....lost both games buuuut next time it is ours! 😂 then on our way home this clapped out Evo 10 passed us! Oiih it was nice.... Anyways there is a million things i am ever grateful for. No amount of words could say them all becuase i cant even remember them all at one sitting. But a few things i am grateful for is first for the gospel. Without the Gospel i would be lost. But i know who i am and have recieved so much happiness and joy from God. I might not be the best of his children but i am trying to make him happy of me. I am also thankful for my family. They have all given me love and support that nothing on earth could repay them. We have shared uncountable memories, laughs and experiences that i will never forget. It is something really special when you can truly love your family with all your soul and know they have your back. I have such a unique and special family and without even 1 of them things would be different. I am eternally grateful that I can be with them forever. I am also thankful for my friends. For the good quality friends i have. For the person they have helped me to become and for all of the memories and fun times we have and will yet to have. As weird as it may sound I am thankful for those people who may not have liked my presence so much or might have been mean to me in some way. They have also taught me a lesson and even though we might not be friends or on the same page, i still hope they had a great Thanksgiving and that they will have a great Christmas. Everyone deserves love and to be happy, even those people who curse you. Just laugh it off, smile and move forward with those people who have your 6. I am also thankful for all of my church teachers and leaders I have had growing up. You might think I have forgotten about you or you didnt even know you had an impact on my life but for each one I can share a memory and spiritual lesson you taught me. I love each and every one of you and hope to keep in touch throughout they years. I am thankful for so many more things. Streetch your arms out as far as you can and then times that by Buzz Lightyear. .....get it? Infinity and beyond haha!! 🌌 Go check out mormon.org or #LightTheWorld to start spreading the message of love for Christmas. Also go read Alma 22 and just go slow and look at the great spiritual experiences there. Thats all folks... Lots of love, Elder Merz

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