Monday, March 5, 2018

Lucy is a new investigator we have this week. She was a referral from an awesome member who lives in Provo who came here for a few weeks and he met her on the beach and gave us the referral and she is now progressing great!! We had a lesson with her and just got to know each other, more of an introductory lesson. She has come to church twice now and has already made some new friends with people around her age at church! We went and met with Glory at her new home. She moved from Utange and now lives in Majengo. We were able to go see where her new place is and have a very nice lesson of the Restoration. There is a lot of power that comes from the little 20 minute Restoration video. We saw it and she loved it!! We are excited to continue to meet with her as well. We did some great contacting this week and we had an incredible experience, at least to me. We knocked on this door and a lady came to the window by her door and opened it and so we talked to her through the window. We introduced who we were and gave her a pamphlet to read. She then asked if we have a minute that we could help her. We said of course. She came to the door opened up and then we had about a 20 minute conversation about families and the gospel. She very sadly got cheated on by her husband and even left being a Christian for her husband who is a Muslim. She said she went back to Christianity and believes that one day he can join us as well. We expressed the love the God has for her. How His son knows all of the pain we are going through and how the unique gospel that WE have will change not only her life but also her husbands. It will change her family forever!!! That was such a cool spiritual experience for me. This week has many birthdays!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best brother ever! My younger brother Spencer turned 17 on the 4th and is still kickin it and slaying! Happy Birthday bro cant wait to hang out with you again!! Also to my great cousin Tim who is on his mission in Cali, he is killing it out in the field and helping so many people! He is an example to me and such an incredible person! i hope he had a fantastic birthday turning 20! Elder Bandi (my companion) his mothers birthday was also on the 3rd like Tims! So they are now only giving us an hour to my weekly emails and emails back to everyone will probably be shorter since now i have no time....thanks.... the week has been very well and I wish the Lord blesses those loved people i have back in that foreign country called America. My prayers are going out to one of my very good friends Erik Haas. He was in a huge accident back in downtown, Salt Lake. He was taken to the hospital is extreme critical condition but heard he is doing well. So during this next week if anyone wants to include him in your prayers. Lots of love for you Erik. Stay strong bro! Love is in the Boost Love, Elder Merz

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Not much time today to email so for the personal replies please be patient i will get back to you!! They announced on Sunday that the President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Holland will be coming here to Kenya! To Nairobi! Not sure if we will get to go but hey it is a huge blessing to the members here!! We are now teaching Hezbon and Silvias other daughter Rose. We are there to kind of control the lesson, but they are the ones teaching her, because we feel it is important for parents to teach there children. It has been awesome so far. She is going to be baptized on the 18th of March and we also thought that Hezbon should be the one to baptize her. Hezbon was interviewed and on Sunday he received the Aaronic Priesthood!! There has been so much progress with them!! 😃 Yesterday we didn't email because we were living in a construction site...they re-did our whole kitchen and one of our bathrooms so everything was in a horrible mess. I dont like things to be dirty and so Elder Bandi and I cleaned our flat for 5 hours yesterday and then went and saw Monica again. She came to church and is progressing well! The week went well and we had some great lessons with people. I love helping people and seeing the changes that come into there lives! It is a blessing to be able to help these great people here. We have some people that the Lord has truly prepared and we are always excited to meet with them again and again. Susan and Lilian got interviewed yesterday and they are going to be baptized this next Sunday on the 4th. Its a birthday gift for my brother! Haha They are very excited and when they were asked who they wanted to baptize them, they said "Someone with the priesthood authority!" hahaha what a perfect answer! My birthday was a great great day! We went and visited Silvia and work and Hezbon was there even there 2 daughters that are still at home, they didn't have school that day. We got some free lunch from them and shared some good laughs together. We went and saw Susan and Lilian and had a great lesson with them, and saw how the Book of Mormon is changing there lives. We went to the beach with Juma (a priest), and then went and saw Erida and Roney and had like the best lesson ever with them. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and the spirit was just really there. They were able to understand them well and wanted the blessings that come from following them! They fed us some really good food. ANNNNNDDDD I got drenched again...they got me with buckets of water so i went outside and then like 10 of there neighbors and a bunch of kids all got me wet as well. Hahaha i think that is such a funny tradition and yeah i gotta go home we once again. The missionaries called me or texted me wishing me a happy birthday and Sister Msane as well. The week was a great one, and my birthday was one I wont forget! Have a great week and stay blessed! Love, Elder Merz

Monday, February 19, 2018

So after i logged off last Monday we went and met with Monica as planned. We had a fantastic lesson with her and she is a very nice lady. She is 24 and has a daughter. She is interested to know more about the gospel and I have really come to see just how special the message is that we get to share with others! She texted us a few times even during the week just wishing us to have a good day! She is so great!! We also met with this lady Alice. She lives right by the church and had a good time introducing ourselves and the church and yeah!! It was good!!! We went to Chyulu again for zone conference so the week did not have too many things to report on. But one thing i really loved that is so true is what President Msane said. He is a successful businessman and his conversion story is something else!!! Him and Sister Msane both know about the game of money. But he said "The success of any person depends on how well they use their resources." That is so true and i just felt i should share that with you guys. USE your resources that you have. No matter if you have many or a few. If you use the resources you DO have you will go somewhere. On our way back after getting off the train we still had an hour bus ride to town and then another hour matatu ride to our place. Well our bus from the train broke down and we chilled there for like an hour in the hot sun packed like raisens. We had no time to see anyone so we went and did our weekly planning on the beach! At church on sunday there was around 25 white people from Burley, Idaho at church!!! Then like 4 from diferent parts of Utah and 1 girl from SLC!! I dont know why they were there but it was really....well...FREAKY!!!! Too many white people!!! But it was awesome. The church has never been so full before LOL We are looking forward to some baptisms in just a few weeks so stay posted! Thank you all so far for the Birthday wishes....its on the 23rd but i wont be on then so thank you in advance for the ones i see next week!! :) Love you all and next year...i'll be celebrating it at home.... Love, Elder Merz

Monday, February 12, 2018

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." 2 Nephi 2:11 This week has been a much better week than the past ones. We were able to meet with some of our investigators and had some great great lessons with them!! We had some miracles happen this week though. So the first miracle is that we were waiting at a supermarket for someone for an hour and we gave a few people some pamphlets that would take one, and then we went inside and got some water so we wouldn't thirst. The lady at the till was very wondering who we were and we gave her a pamphlet and we wrote our number on the back. That night she texted us saying she wants to know more! But the best part is that she came to church EARLY and she really really enjoyed church! Most people want to meet with us and have a lesson or whatever before they come to church. So that was definitely a miracle and after i send this email Elder Bandi and I are going to have a lesson with her! The second miracle is that we got bounced by someone we had planned to meet with and so we did some contacting in the area. We contacted some people and as we were leaving I saw this guy and something just told me to contact him!! So we contacted him. Harold is very very friendly, nice, a family guy, and it was like a golden contact, he even said he'd come to church. We invited him again on Saturday night and on Sunday HE CAME!!! He stayed for the whole of church and really really enjoyed it! He says he will be back next Sunday and bring his family! The Lord really will place people and opportunities in our path if we are doing the right things and are open for them!! The third miracle is an experience with tithing and fast offerings. So we visited Hezbon and Silvia and Silvia told us her miracle. She showed us a 20,000 shilling check for the family, but more specifically for June, to pay all of her school fees until she graduates from High School. And here a lot of families struggle to pay school fees for there children but that is definitely a miracle for them!! Silvia also told us how at Hezbons work there was a massive break down and the company was going to go bankrupt and he would be out of work. But one of the MP's (Or like one of the political leaders in the area) payed for the entire thing to be fixed and helped Hezbon keep his job and he even got a promotion from it!! The Lord really does us to PROVE HIM (Malachi 3:10) with tithing and fast offerings and see if he wont open the windows of heaven for us. I really love that word Prove. It is like a challenge, the Lord is saying "Try me i dare you!" before they were even baptized they started to pay tithing and fast offerings once we taught them about it. And they continue to do it, and now they are seeing the miracles of the Lord because of it!! This week has been so nice. We even gave Susan and Lilian baptismal dates of the 4th of March. Right on my little Brothers birthday! So that is how i plan to celebrate his birthday! Remember to keep positive and don't let life bring you down. When you are down it is a time to stand up, and go again. Never give up and keep trying. With anything! I have been able to feel the love, peace, and comfort from the people i care about most. I invite you to just ponder about these words: Opposition in all things. Think of how you can turn the negative oppositions in your life around! Have a great week and happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. I know i'll be spending it with someone special......Elder Bandi 😂😂😂 Love, Elder Merz

Monday, February 5, 2018

The week was up in the air and floated away like a balloon. So on Tuesday Elder Bandi arrived here in the middle of the day so almost our whole day that day was ruined because it can take some time to travel between different parts of our areas and so we had to stay close by. So we went and did some contacting basically all day. Elder Mathemera, Elder Breidenbaugh, and I. Wednesday we had DDM in Likoni which was very very good. We set very specific goals and are going to be accountable to each other. I have learned to really love setting goals and achieving them, or doing all i can to achieve them! But after DDM we waited FOREVER to catch the Ferry back to the other side and then I had to go do an interview for the Changamwe Elders waaaaaaaaay out in there area. Like the farthest place! With the traveling to get there and the interview and traveling back to our area. We arrived back in our area at 7:15. So that was our whole day. Thursday was a pretty good day. We had some lessons and did some great contacting and are finding some new people to meet with and teach! Friday was another halfday in our area because I had to do an interview for the Likoni Elders at 6:30 so we also had to stay the night with them. Saturday was a great day. We met with some of our investigators and we went and visited a member Sister Lydiah. She is super nice and self-reliant and actually had some good questions we had no idea the answers too!! She was the first person to also offer me some juice or ICE CREAM! Believe it or not we took the juice! Sunday was the best day of the week though!! We got a new investigator. Had 3 full and very very good spiritual lessons and they all learned a lot! I really love our investigators and am seeing the miracles of the Lord working though these people. With this girl Glory I learned to sometimes shut up. Sorry for the harsh words but sometimes i get to excited to reply that i dont get the whole message or point they are trying to get across. But i was quiet and the spirit worked in all of us in that fantastic lesson! This week will be a much better week. I love being a missionary and helping others to answer the questions of there soul. Or even to help them receive answers to there prayers. I have a strong love for everyone here. Christian, Muslim, anything. They all have touched my heart and I look forward to every morning going out in the super hot being cooked and fried all day just to even help one person!! Kwaheri nakupenda, Elder Merz

Monday, January 29, 2018

On Sunday Silvia got confirmed! You should have seen the happiness and the smile on her face. Seeing people happy from the gospel and the changes it brings. It is the best thing. We did some good contacting this week and had some good success! We got some new investigators from it and look forward to meeting with them this week. We are having some great lessons and meeting with lots and lots of people! The German guy Frank showed up at Church!!! We were dazed about that!! We are hoping to extend some new baptismal dates this week to Susan, Lilian, and Michelle. They are all progressing very well and we feel they are ready for it. They have even expressed that they want to be baptized. This week has been long and very tiring. So this email is not going to be too good. So the news is that Elder Tshangu is being moved to Nairobi and Elder Mwanziu is being transferred to Mwanza TZ!! So my mission family is splitting up!!!! My new companion is Elder Bandi from Zimbabwe. He has been out a little bit over 6 months and I look forward to working with him. I am glad to be staying in Mombasa. I really really love it here and love the area, the people, everything!! Congrats to my Sister for getting engaged Love you all and hope all is going well!! Elder Merz

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ended the week with white jumpsuits!! Sister Silvia got baptized! The Bamburi 1 Elders also had a baptism of Sister Jacklin. Elder Mathemera baptized both of them. It was such a great day! Silvia bore such a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the truthfulness of the Restoration. How she has seen changes in her home from this church and how it has made it her way more happy then she ever knew was possible! Ahhhh it was so nice! We went and visited Silvia after church and we watched the Hour long version of the Restoration. She really enjoyed it and it helped her testimony grew and then she fed us a feast! It was the best way to end the day. We had some great lessons this week with Eric, Michelle, and Erida and her son Roney. We gave Erida and Roney baptismal dates of the 25th of February! They are very excited and we know they will get there. Let me just tell you the powerfulness of the Book of Mormon. When people read it, they come to a higher knowledge and receive the truth. Obviously your heart and mind must be open. But EVERYONE who truly reads it DOES gain that witness that it is true. We met with Susan, Lilian and Robert also this week. On Wednesday Robert wasn't around but we went over the Law of Chastity with Susan and Lilian and it was a great lesson! Its so great to see people accept to follow. We saw them again on Sunday and they are also gaining that witness. Susan is in 2 Nephi 2, Lilian is just a few chapters behind and Robert is in 1 Nep. 20!! Susan texted us this last week and said she's sorry she wouldn't be able to come to church but she said she really wants to be baptized in our church. We expressed our excitement and asked her why. She said she loves our church and knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God!! I love that family as well!! I finished the Book of Mormon this last week again. I always put Moroni's words to the test. "3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." I prayed again and got my witness again that it is a true book. Its so simple!! Just read, ponder and pray and YOU CAN know for yourself. You dont have to ask Google, or your parents or friends. Ask God who knows everything and doesn't want you to be lost or confused, you are his child. If you have not yet gained your own witness of it. I invite you to just give it a try. It WILL change your life. Nina jua kanisa niakweli. Naikwamba Joseph Smith ni nabii wa mungu. Na kupitia Joseph Smith kanisa limerejeshwa. Ninajua pia Kitabu Cha Mormoni kina matunzo yote ya Yesu Kristo. Nina jua sote ni watoto wa mungu. Na inatupenda na anajibu maombi yetu. Mmeona na kusikia upendo wa mungu. Kina jua Kristo anaishi na ninampenda kwa moyo wangu wote. Niwajibu kuwa mmojo wa watoto wake. Na mwisho najua injili inabariki familia na zaweza kuwa pamoja milele. Ninasema haya yote kwa jina la Yesu Kristo amina.