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.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Our investigators Jerry is so great. This guy is a mega-rasta but has such a sweet and loving heart. We met with him twice last week and had fantastic lessons. He got a little bag to carry his Book of Mormon and his pamphlets and he has started reading the Book of Mormon!! That is one of the most important factors in somebody's conversion. You must read the book! Then the second time we met he asked us about baptism and how he can be baptized. So we explained all that needs to happen before then and then extended a baptismal date to him and he accepted it!!! We are super super excited for him!! We also met with this lady named Erida. She has been taught by missionaries before and almost baptized both times but Satan came in and caused something beyond her reach so she was not able to. But this time she is serious and excited and she has come to church every week so far this year and plans to come every week. Her son Roney looooves me and we are going to start teaching him as well! We are very very excited for these 2 and are planning to extend baptismal dates to them both this week! He wanted us to come over after church but we didnt have time because our plans were too full already. But the excitement for these guys is very positive. Positive vibes. Susan, Lilian, and Robert are all doing well. Robert is having a super hard time with the principles of the Restoration, he is a hard core Catholic. But we are trying to be understanding and we have committed him to read the Book of Mormon as well and is in 1 Nep. 8. Susan texted us and said she is really enjoying the Book of Mormon and she has made the goal to read it all the way through. She is in 1 Nep. 13 and Lilian is in 1 Nep. 11. They are progressing super well!!! I love there family so much We had zone conference and did some contacting in Mtwapa. I learned a lot but forgot my workbook at the flat so i cant share the details of what i learned. But just believe me when i say that i learned haha! Silvia is getting baptized next week!!!!! She is very excited. When we first met she would never come to church, her first time was when Hezbon and June got baptized. But every week since then she has been there. She even came just her with her 2 youngest daughters this last Sunday because Hezbon is taking June to school in Kisumu! I never thought i would see a day like that with her. So miracles are happening folks. Elder Matemera the other day thought he would be funny. We have been having power outages and so he went to the box and turned off the switches to make us think the power was out. It wasn't but when he switched it back on the power didnt come then the next day an electritian had to come and somehow 4 of the switches broke.....niiiiiiiiiiiiice was a very warm night sleeping without A/C. The last thing i would like to say is the importance of a smile. A smile shows that you are happy. It shows you are friendly. Now i am not talking about a fake smile but a genuine, real smile. If you cant think of something as you read this right now and Smile. Then stop here, think of something good in your life and smile. Put on a smile. It is attractive but it also does some fancy stuff with the chemicals in your brain so even if you arent 100% happy, soon enough you will be. I invite everyone to Smile more today. Smile at a stranger. Smile at a freind and loved one. Smile AT YOURSELF!!! Smiling is so important! 😀😁😃😄😆😊😎☺🙂🤗😇 I hope you are able to find something good to smile about and can find that true happiness in your heart. Lots of love, Elder Merz

Monday, January 8, 2018

This week has been a great one!! We met with Mark and we talked about him getting a marriage certificate so that he can be baptized. He is almost finished with all the lessons so once he gets that he will be baptized. We talked about tithing with him. And from what i will tell you is his conversion. So we talked about Tithing and how we must start paying it after we are baptized. But then he looked kinda sad and asked if it was bad that he has already paid tithing a few times!!! We were like ummmm noooo.......thats GREAT!! He is such a fantastic guy! I love that man. We went to an area called Mtwapa and did some contacting there and got some great peoples numbers who seem interested to meet with us. That is an area like no missionaries have ever worked in so we are gonna convert everyone there. That same day a member just showed up at the church with his cousin Khamisi and we met with him and he is super nice and interseted and we had 2 lessons with him. He just came to Mombasa last week and we met with him twice and he is gonna stay yeah i can see him in white soon. We also met a guy named Emmanual when we were contacting another time. He was in Boot Camp in Great Lakes and married a girl here and now lives here. He was like "yeah i know you guys!" we asked him how. then he told us all of that and was like "the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, right?" we were shocked and like yeah!! He said our church was the first church he went to when he went to boot camp there! We hope to meet with him again soon! Susan, Lilian, Robert and Winnie are all progressing well and they are reading the Book of Mormon and really enjoying it! Susan and Lilian came to church on Sunday and loved it!! We are hoping to extend a baptismal date to them soon! Hezbons family is progressing very well. They are like having a family reading competition!!! June (the daughter) is already in 3 Nephi and we gave the Book of Mormon to her like 6 weeks ago....she is FLYING and UNDERSTANDING IT!!! It is a miracle before my eyes. Then the parents Hezbon and Silvia are having a competition. Hezbon is in Jacob and Silvia is in 2 Nephi. They all love church, are singing the hymns, participating in classes, and Silvia is looking orward to being baptized on the 21st of January!! They are going to be a powerful addition to the branch here!! Sadly though, Nelly (one of the daughters) is going to Nairobi for University and June is going to Kisumu for boarding school. But she is so converted and we gave her a for Strength of Youth and a CTR ring as well. We will see those 2 only 1 more time before they go, so it will be very sad. But I will never forget them. They will forever be in my heart and i will definitely see them again. Silvia gave us our kneeling prayer on Sunday evening and she said how she is so happy because of the truth. How she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, how she knows Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and that they will one day be sealed in the temple. Another cute/funny thing. Silvia said they are going to the temple this year. We explained that they have to be members for AT LEAST 1 year. But she was like "I will find a way! I wanna be sealed!" They are the best ever i wish you people could see and meet them We got kicked out of Sacrament meeting on Sunday as i know a lot of you know my personality and that i like to have fun. And it was not because of that. For just Elder Tshangu and I we had 6 investigators at church, 5 recent converts, and 7 less-actives. The other missionaries had numbers almost identical to that. And the chapel is small so we had to stand outside with a few members because there was so many people there!!! It was such a beautiful sight. Things are going really well here for us!! We have lost a few people we have been teaching from school, moving, and other things. But we are finding more people than we are losing, so we are stepping forward!! Lots of exciting things happening here!! :) I wish you all a great week and excuse me for the novel of an email. Just a bit excited..... 😃 Love, Elder Merz