Monday, July 16, 2018

On my 2nd to last transfer...its a surreal feeling. Is it really July? Do i really go home in October? I still find myself super excited and not tired of this great work at all. We have starting teaching someone called Samuel. He is the Deputy at a good school here in Mautuma. He is basically the Vice Principle in American terms. He is a smart guy and even quite young to be a VP. He really loves our church and knows its a good church. He was working at another one of the schools here and the church's charity help program thingy build the nicest and best toilets in all the land for that school and he was a teacher at that school. We are excited to start teaching him. On Sunday we are having a baptism of Barbarah. She is a great girl and learns very fast! I have talked about her before, but it is finally her time to get dipped in the water! We are also teaching a part member family and teaching the son, his name is Junior. He is also progressing very well and understanding the lessons. The gospel message is simple, don't think about it too much in depth. I have even heard that if you are struggling just go back to the basic truths! We got to meet with Brother Francis and FINALLY finish helping him with his family history. We sent 10 names to the temple!!! And 33 ordinances total! AND there are more still we can send. We were missing some information but i guess it made him so happy because on Sunday he showed me a sheet of paper full on the front and back of ancestors he found out from his family that he didn't know about and wants to add them. As well as a lot of the missing information. WOW it is incredible!! The last absolutely insane thing i will share is a combination of Saturday and Sunday. So on Saturday we are getting lunch and there is another guy just chillin there. I decide to spark up a conversation. We talked about the World Cup, about our different countries. He told us about his job (He is an accountant). He is a very smart and i am guessing successful accountant just from what he was saying. We then talked a little about the gospel. He is just visiting him home village (Mautuma) but he lives in Mountain View Nairobi. He lives not far from the Mountain View ward and used to go play basketball there a ton, but never attended a service on Sunday. So we invited him to church the next day and he said he would come. HE ACTUALLY CAME!!! That is suuuch a big thing. Lots of people say they will come but don't....but HE did! I sat by him in Sacrament meeting and he was singing the songs that he didn't even know, but was trying! Then in the Gospel Principles class and in Elders Quorum he was participating and asking questions, answering others questions, and saying very intelligent things for not knowing anything but just listening and learning! I wish you could have been there it was truly incredible! Also one of his best childhood friends is a member in Mautuma and they haven't seen each other in over 20 years so it was also a great little reunion for them! Then one of the members was showing the World Cup at his shop and one of the members invited him to come see it with him, AND HE DID!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH wow this man is powerful and ready to receive the biggest blessings in his life from the restored gospel! He is truly prepared and ready for his life to be changed and happiness to be more in his life. We are going to send the Mountain View elders his number so he can receive them! Our week was superb! But sadly my companion Elder Ncube is being transferred! He is going off to Dar Es Saalem. I will really miss him and it has been a short 6 weeks with him, but i have learned things from him! My new companion is Elder Bigirindavyi. I will say more about him next week, but this week.....more not so fun adventures so stay tuned Haha! Loads of love from Obamas fathers home, Elder C. Merz

Monday, July 9, 2018

To start off the wonderful last week we traveled to Eldoret and had a correlation meeting with the District President, President Kogo. We had a good correlation how the branches in Kitale zone are moving forward and how the missionaries are focusing on the right things. Afterwords we went to his home and got joined by ALL the Eldoret missionaries!! Including Elder and Sister Reck, the new couple there, since the best couple Elder and Sister Pehrson went home. Wow his home was full of missionaries and it was such good food and an incredible privilege to have dinner at his home again! I never though i would get that again as a missionary, but he specifically had it that day so that we could join them. I love President Kogo!! After his home we went to this new mall in Eldoret called Rupas. I heard they have some nice deo there, so we went and they were wanting the equivalent of $10 for ONE stick of Old Spice!!! So i got some nice smelling AXE and i found a Snickers so i spoiled myself and got it! For my 4th of July i got to travel 10 hours on a bus to Nairobi....i talked to a lady sitting next to me i could tell does not live i Kenya. So i started talking to her and she is Kenyan but has been living in the us for the past 22 years! She was on her way back right then. She is a minister in another church (wont mention the name). But i was asking her things about what they believed and i got her....she was saying things and ALL i was doing was using scriptures from JUST the bible to ask her questions. She is a nice lady but is lost....i can see how people can be so lost and confused without the additional knowledge of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. We had MLC and talked about many different things but one that stood out was about mediocrity. We need to rise above doubts, fears, and things that might set us back. "We must use time wisely and forever realize taht the time is always ripe to do right." -Nelson Mandela. "A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things" -Barak Obama. I believe it takes action, determination, faith and consistency to make a change. Lastly i got to go on exchanges with Elder Carlson. We came out on missions together and have become good friends! He is from St. George and is the senior assistant here for our mission. We had a great day working in there area. Good lessons, and we found some great great people who could build up the church! As we were leaving their chapel to go and find some people there was a guy in his 20s with a metal skateboard just outside the gate sitting down!! Elder Carlson and i both know how to skateboard as we skated at home. So we contacted him and he let us ride his board a little bit, do a few tricks, and then we contacted him! He has actually been to the church before so i think God set that up JUST PERFECTLY for us! Have a great week all! I will be enjoying my sleep in MY OWN BED this week! 😉 Love, Elder Merz

Monday, July 2, 2018

So last week on Tuesday when we were traveling back to our area and we were packed 26 of us in a matatu. The road was suuuper muddy because it was raining. There was some stuck cars we passed. Our matatu was super heavy and as we passed them i said in Swahili "Our fatness makes us stong", it made the entire matatu laugh LOL but it was true!! This guy named Brother Chyulu came to Mautuma branch and supplied us with a new printer that also scans and copies, he also got us a new battery pack for when the power goes out, and he fixed the wifi!! Guys like him are so nice, they just come and fix things! This week we called a lot of the people that we got there numbers the week before. From it we got 5 new investigators!! And 4 of them are adult men who have families and speak English, EXACTLY what we are looking for! One of them is named Simon he has some really good potential. We gave him a restoration pamphlet and we met with him the next day and he read the entire pamphlet and had lots of questions and wants to know more about Joseph smith and the book of Mormon!!! We went to the branch presidents house for breakfast one morning. He really loves us, and we love him back too!! He is such a great branch president! Probably the best!!! We then went and visited another member named Euphresia and she gave us some food after the lesson and on there tiny little tv somehow there was WWE. Her mother was soooooo into it hahahaha i was laughing so hard!! She was clapping and making sounds and having the time of her life LOL! After church on Sunday we visited some investigators and then we went to the 1st counselors house and roasted some maize together "This is beautiful" In his own words! It was such a nice time! We talked about the church, his conversion story, family, and just the simple life in Mautuma. Also about the dangerous animals around, like green and black mambas that can kill you between 30-minutes to 3 hours if bitten.... We have a busy week ahead of us but i am really loving the mission and trying to get all i can out of it!! 😄 make sure to keep a smile on your face! it will make you happy and those that see it happy!! 😊 I wish all the best week ever! May happiness be in your life and good vibes come your way! Enjoy the 4th of July for me you beautiful Americans [?] Love, Elder Merz

Monday, June 25, 2018

We had a great great DDM last Tuesday with the zone. Me and my companion reported on things we got from MLC. One of the big subjects and things we were supposed to train on was about Giving it our all. We asked the questions What are we actually here to do? Why is giving it your all important? How will it help us? How will we do it? and then also some scriptures that come to mind. We had a very great discussion together. This is also an important principle to apply to our everyday lives. In EVERYTHING we do we need to give it our all. No half efforts here. If you give it your all you will excel in whatever you are doing! We are teaching a 10 year old girl named Barbara. She is Sharons little sister. She is soooo smart!! We teach her the lessons in a more simple way that she'll understand and teach the most important points. She understands and remembers them suuuuper well!! I haven't seen someone like her before she is truly incredible! We have a few lessons with her and hope to have her baptized soon!! We did loooots of finding and contacting this last week. We now have a load of numbers we are going to be following up with this week. We have also gotten some referrals from members which is the best for finding because then you have someone to help you teach them and they already have a relationship with someone in the church! We have been biking a lot the last week and some of the days i was just dead tired. I was out at like 9 one night! Saturday we were at a funeral all day and then went and taught an investigator with the help of a member. We visited sister Jane again and she came to church again!! It then started raining super hard and we were up on the mountain so we went to another members for shelter and we got some ugali and pumpkin leaves out of it!! Wooow its suuuuuuper good!!! A new favorite food with ugali!! Congrats to my cousin/best friend Tim for finishing his mission this week!!! I cant believe it is already time! I still remember when you left!! I know he'll get a great welcome home!! Love ya bro!! Congrats!!! :) thanks for leading the way for us! Thats about it for the week!! Enjoy the smiles around you! Love, Elder Merz

Monday, June 18, 2018

This week we had Zone Conference in Eldoret so we slept in our flat for one night and then last Monday we were here in Kitale emailing and then Tuesday we went to Eldoret. Our zone conference was great!!! We talked a lot about the Doctrine of Christ and how it is so important. Go and study yourself these chapters. 2 Nephi 31-32, 3 Nephi 11 & 27. The question was asked How does our understanding of the Doctrine of Christ manifest itself? There were many great answers and contributions but i would like to share 2 quotes, i guess you could call them, from my mission president. He said "A lot of this is in the doing. Not just talking about it." A lot of living and following the Doctrine of Christ is in actually DOING something. Everyone can talk about it. And lets be honest, talk is cheap. Where things happen is in the action. The other thing he said was "We need to understand it that it does in fact, change our natures." I really love my mission President. I am sure everyone can say theirs is the best, but mine is no acception. It also all comes down to HOW we understand the Doctrine of Christ. The more we UNDERSTAND it, the better we will be able to follow Him and the better we will become each and every day. It was interesting, so Elder Card got transferred to Kisumu. And so we were once again together at zone conference. Once again together in Eldoret....i never in my life thought we would both be back in that city at the exact same time. We slept at the Huruma Zone Leaders flat and Elder Card and I slept on the floor on some mattresses. the only thing that bugged us was......a nearby Mosque at legit 3AM starting "praying" and they turned up there microphones to world on like full blast. It woke us both up and we just laughed about it together at 3am haha! This week at the end of the week we extended 3 baptismal dates! We are getting back to work now. And i like that now i am in charge. We are really working on finding new people to teach. We visited manyyy members this week and took them My family books to help them start their family history. We visited this super less-active lady and helped her start to fill out the book with her own information. She loved telling us stories and remembering things and a Miracle happened!!! SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!!! For the entire church block as well as participating in the classes!! Blessings truly do come from Family History! DO YOUR OWN and feel the love for those loved ones you have. Find out their awesome stories. I had a great week and i hope that all of you have a fantastic week as well!! Enjoy the blessings that God will grant you this week! Love from your village boy, Elder C. Merz

Monday, June 11, 2018

So let me explain how last week went. Elder Limu and I woke up at 5 to get picked up at 6 by a taxi guy. The taxi got stuck in the mud and didnt show up until 7. We had to load up his stuff and drive suuuuper fast to Misikhu to pick up Elder Brown and Elder Phokane. We did the drive in 40 minutes, and we were FLYING!! Thats like world record speed LOL. We picked them up and then the guy had to drive super fast as well to Kitale so that they would not miss there bus, which left at 9 sharp. We met with the Kitale Elders there, printed the tickets and they caught the bus by Gods grace!! Elder Brown is going to Kayole to be a Zone Leader, Elder Pratt is going to Lucky Summer Nairobi, and Elder Limu is being transferred to Zimbabwe LOL. Then my new comp. Elder Ncube came that evening but we had to sleep in Kitale. The next morning we took Elder Konyana (Elder Pratts old comp) to the bus station because he is going to Nairobi and training a new guy. Then we had to wait all day and pick up Elder Munayiri who is the new District Leader here and is with Elder Phokane. But our areas are way to far to go there so we slept another night in the kitale flat even though no kitale missionary was there. The next morning we took a taxi that dropped those guys at there flat in Misikhu and then took us to Mautuma. The mud roads were more of a horrible slip-n-slide due to the rain. But we made it. Elder Ncube got to unpack a few things and pack his bag for Nairobi and the taxi took us back to Misikhu. We were in Mautuma for about 30 minutes. We took a matatu to Kitale and slept there again! 3rd night in a row! And then we left in the morning from the Kitale bus station to Nairobi for MLC. (Missionary leaders meeting with the Mission President). We picked up the Eldoret Zone Leaders and the sister training leaders, so it was fun the travel with them! Especially with my boy Elder Fraga! We had MLC and i learned some great things (i will share in a minute) then Saturday we traveled back to the western part of Kenya. After a 10 hour bus ride and some traffic and traveling issues we had to stay with the Misikhu elders because we would have gotten home super late if we went to our area. So then Sunday we had to wake up super early again (5am for the 3rd time this week) and travel to Naitiri where we attended church and then we went to the flat and slept there last night. So we were in our area 1 day the whole week. We are so sick of traveling, buuut lucky us we have zone conference this week so we are traveling to Eldoret tomorrow LOL!! In MLC we talked about how we can give it our all as missionaries. The Lord really does and will help us as we learn to trust in him and do what he wants us to do. Miracles are happening here in Kenya and each companionship should be able to experience them! I hope this week everyone can trust in the Lord more. His promises are real, and can not be broken. He WILL hold up his end of the deal, but is up to us if we are going to follow through with our end. I love Him and the blessings that he has given me. Even though this last week we were not in our area he still blessed us with a new invistigator who we even set a bapitsmal date with. He knows us, and our situatuions. He loves us soooo much, even if you are sitting on a bus for 10 hours traveling cross country. I wish you all the best this week as you trust in the Lord more. And feel of His blessings, love, and peace. Lots of Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, June 4, 2018

I slept in my bed 2 times this last week, we went to Kitale and had a going away party for Elder Limu. We just got some meat and Elder Pratt and I made some chapatis and we had some fun together! We did some flat checks again and then Elder Limu went back to Mautuma with Elder Phokane and i went to Misikhu with Elder Brown. It was so awesome to go on exchanges with my first MTC companion. Let me just say we are MUCH better than we were in the MTC lol! We visited some less-actives and some investigators and had really great lessons. He is so powerful and a great missionary. We also got to share some memories of people in Buru Buru (since he replaced me when i left). It was a great great exchange and from it they were able to see a few less actives that we visited come to church. That was for tuesday and wednesday. We also got some new invesitgators and referrals together!! Thursday was an adventure of its own. So we had an interview that needed to be done in Mautuma so we waited in a matatu for over an hour until it left. On the way it broke down AGAIN and so we had to help the driver fix it and then off we went again. We passed the other Elders coming from Naitiri and we stopped the cars, switched keys and continued forward. Long story short it took us about 5 hours to get from Misikhu to Naitiri. We grabbed the bikes that the other Elders left for us and biked to Mautuma. The chains fell off about a milliion times because the chains are super loose and dryer than Elder Browns home state of Arizona. We arrived in Mautuma he did the interview, we grabbed a few things from the flat and biked up the massive hill back to Naitiri. We got there and got a ride to the main road where we got another Matatu back to Misikhu. So literally the whole day we were traveling and did an interview, welcome to Western Kenya. Elder Limu and I then went to Eldoret for a correlation meeting with the district president and we stayed in the night there with Elder Mahanzu and Elder Fraga (who i also came with). Let me just say I love Elder Fraga and have so much respct for him. He is one of my great great friends and i am thankful for him! Elder Limu is off now to Zimbabwe and I will really miss him! Its hard to have a companion go home but i realized someday that will be me. So i am trying to soak everything all in and not let the smallest or biggest things bring me down. This is the Lords work and i have a privledge to help Him in this part of His vineyard. This next week is already crazy and we know what is going to happen but stay tuned for that next week haha! Lots of love from the land of the Lion, Elder Merz