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 Friday...it 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. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/11/general-womens-session/living-the-gospel-joyful?lang=eng 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

Monday, July 31, 2017

KARIBU NYUMBANI ZUSTER MERZ!!!! Welcome home to my amazing Sister Alexis. She is such a big example to me in my life and i am so thankful and grateful for her. She has had so many amazing memories and experiences as a missionary and one day we will be able to sit around a campfire and share stories and experiences! So last Monday night as I am trying to sleep President Msane calls us. My heart dropped off the face of the earth for obvious reasons. But I was half asleep. But he told us that some new missionaries are coming in and he wants one of them to be in a 3 sum with Elder Otika and I. We were told that he was coming the next day. He came the next day and he is super funny! He is from DRC Congo so he speaks and sounds french and doesn't not know much English. So we were just laughing the first night and he was like "Good dream" and i just about died laughing the way he said it. He says things that are funny, but i am helping him to learn English. The Buru Buru sisters also got a sister from the Congo and so I am now the district leader for the biggest District in the mission! I now have 10 missionaries under me. Saturday was an amazing day for me. We get on a bus and this lady sits next to me. Her name is Jackie. So there are guys that go around on the buses and sell candy and gum. Well she got some sweets and gave me some of them for no reason! It made me smile a ton and then we talked the whole bus ride until we had to get off, i contacted her as well and got her number so we can go teach her! then as we are walking to the church there was a massive Jam and this guy was telling us to come to his car. At first I was like no thanks i dont wanna get kidnapped. But we went. Then the back passenger rolls down the window and its the very pretty white lady who is like "ELDERSSSS!!" i was like what the freak is this?? I go on the other side so i dont get run down and it is a couple from Texas/Florida who is here on holiday and they wanna work with us! I got there number and hope to work with them this week before they go back to Utah because they go to UVU. There names are Stone and Kennedy Ramsey. We also went to South B and i did an interview for them and it went great! What a fantastic opportunity it is! We then went back to the church and met with Beth. She is a very good investigator and she has some family who is in the church so we are hoping to see her in the waters soon! We also got fed which was great! We then had to go to the Buru Sisters flat because they were locked out, so we had to help them in and then we walked suuuuper far back home. But overall it was the best day of the week! On Sunday it was a special day. We had a baptism of Sister Mary. She is soooo committed and is like already a member before she got baptized. But she is so ready and got baptized and it is even MORE special! It was her birthday!!! So she got baptized on her birthday!!! How special!! The week has been great but also this week is a difficult one. It is great to have my sister home but it is also there is a small comfort in knowing you have a member of your family that is a few hundred miles away instead of 10,000. But now everyone is 10,000 miles away. She that is a bit hard. But the harder part is that the 3rd of August is my dearest mothers Birthday. Her 50th. It still cant be true in my mind. She just doesn't email me anymore. But she is still there. I cant get it through my head. It is something that will be hard for me my entire mission. But there will be days like the 3rd where it will be even harder. If your mother is still alive and you get this. Please truly appreciate her. There is so many things i wish i could tell my mom. So many memories i still want to have with her. But there is now a gap in my heart and life that cant be filled. I miss you Mom. I love you so much. Happy Birthday Mom ❤😞💔 Also this week might be my last time to email for a few weeks. It is election time here and this is Africa. this is kenya. So we might be inside due to safety for a while. Last elections the missionaries were inside for a month. So if you dont hear from me, just hope I'm still alive. One last thing. The church is doing another Face 2 Face event with Elder Rasband and they are satellite broadcasting to the Buru Buru chapel. Where i serve. Some of our investigators will be there. So watch that and you might see me. Look for the probably only white guy in the crowd. Anyways have a great week and remember to smile. I will try to do the same. Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, July 24, 2017

SO MY AMAZING SISTER IS COMING HOME ON THURSDAY!!! It is so crazy that she is already done with her mission! She has been such a big example and help to me as a missionary but more importantly as a sister. Shes always been there and really wants the best for me. I wish her the best of luck and success as she comes home and moves back into the normal world. There is so much I could say but time is never my friend. So basically just Congratulations and know how much I love you and care about you! This week has been a bit frustrating. But we got to meet Matthew. We were eating some fruit on the church's grass and this guy comes in the gate and up to us. He introduces himself and we then and go teach him and he speaks super English and is really good and interested! We also got to meet with Matika and his wife again and I guess we answered his prayer! He wanted us to read the Book of Mormon with him and his wife and thats what we had planned to do. It was great to see the spirit guiding us in that planning! We also got to share the video about our amazing prophet with an investigator. Its called On the Lords errand. In short he is a great great man and has been his entire life! He is such an example to me and someone I look up to dearly. He also has a special place in my heart. So on Saturday we were waiting for our investigators and Otika was playing football. Well he rolled his ankle super bad. And we had to go to the hospital. Let me tell you. This hospital scared me. It had to be haunted. Look up an episode of Ghost Adventures where they go to an old abandoned hotel and that was what it was like. Open, empty dark hallways with wards that have beds and scary equipment and there were no workers in this one part and yeah it was straight out of ghost adventures. Then when he got an x-ray the dude is wearing sandels and normal clothes. Niiiice right?? Anyways keep on praying and going to the Lord for the help or wishes of your heart. I can promise he hears all of our prayers! Love you all and welcome back my sister home nicely!! Love you all, Elder C. Merz

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This will have to be quick because Hakuna time. But the week was good! We had interviews on Tuesday with the President. Elder Harrott and Elder Card and Elder Otika and i went to Subway and somehow someone snatched Elder Harrotts bag. Feels super bad for him :( But all is well. Then Wednesday we had Zone Conference. The Zone Conference went well. It was a loooong day since i had to be in Upperhill at 9 for a leadership meeting so we arose at 6 and got back and went to bed at around 11. It was great though!! Sister Torrie made some niiiiice deserts from home! Like some fudge! YOOOO that stuff is sooo sweet! It made me sick! :/ so when i get home i might die. We had some good plans for Thursday but duties call. We had to go to Mlolongo to do an interview for baptism. It went super great for my first interview and it is such a privilege to be able to interview someone who wants to enter the church and to really just be led and feel the spirit!! But it takes so long to go there and we had to wait for the lady so we didn't do anything on Thursday. Skip to Sunday. We had 2 baptisms of Ken and Solomon. I got the opportunity to baptize them and it went super great! As well as 2 recent converts gave talks in Sacrament. We also had a little party for 2 missionaries who returned home who served here in this mission! And then met with a few investigators! The week was a great week! Happy birthday to two very special people. My cousin Zach and his wonderful mother Mindy! I hope you guys have a fantastic birthday! As well as for my friends that have already been out a year or left last 20th of July like Tim and Luke. Happy 1 year to you guys this week! Congrats!! Love you all!! Love from ya boy, Elder Merz