Monday, March 27, 2017

This week has been crazy! Last Monday I got THE NICEST haircut in the world I think! They shaved my hair up nice in like a lazy boy type chair and then they shampooed my hair for like 20 minutes giving me a nice head massage AND THEN I got a shoulder, neck and back massage! All for the price of a haircut!! It was sooo relaxing and nice and the place is like super sweet inside as well!! So one of our investigators named Senior he is doing very well! We met him at Kipchoge stadium where a bunch of Olympic runners have ran and we teach him there which is super cool! He love the gospel and the church and is progressing well. We as well as he can already see the changes he has! He is super nice as well! Just an overall great investigator! This week we also went to Kapsoya to see an investigator at work and a school right by her work got out and so a tooon of kids came and we were speaking to them in Swahili for like 15 minutes just joking and laughing with them, it was super cool! So let me tell you about something I will never forget. So we were walking home and this super nice Range Rover passed us and then turned on his hazards and was blocking the road. So as we walked by I went up to him and starting asking him what was wrong and he told me and then I like helped him find out what was wrong with the car. He was going to Boma Inn right on our street and after helping him for like 45 minutes he welcomed us to Boma and got us a Soda and we talked with him for like 30 minutes and it was just the coolest thing ever! There is much more to that story but I don't feel like typing it all haha! We went to this University called Moi University to see one of our investigators which was super cool and then on the way back I could have sworn I was in Utah. The road had lots of bumps and pot holes and it was right before sunset and they were playing new normal music and I was in the front seat and it felt like I was at home cruising with my friends! It was the best!! We also went to Kipchoge later in the week and got to watch them do running events! Some there will most likely be Olympians so that was like suuuuuuper cool!!!! We watched the steeple chase and in that they have to jump over some water and a few guys didn't know that and they fell into the water and it was like deeeep. Or they would slip or trip over the bar thingy and EVERYONE was dying laughing it was kinda sad...buuut super super funny!!! On yesterday we got invited to a members who fed us, it was super good. It was Ugali, scumawiki and turns out cow intestines....yeah she didn't tell us until afterwards but I would have it again! It was super good! But got me thinking later last an intestine is going through my does that work...still didn't figure it out but that's okay! Shout out to my cousin Cassidy who comes home from her mission this next week! I still remember when she left and it seems like just a few short weeks ago! So Congrats to her on completing her mission! She is such a great example and influence to me! It is so cool to have 5 missionaries out from my family at the same time! In 4 different countries on 4 different continents! Brazil, California, Belgium/Netherlands, Michigan and Kenya/Tanzania! That is so cool and I am excited to one day share all our stories together! Love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for the love and emails and some of you are slacking on the emails! Haha love you all! Love, Elder Merz

Monday, March 20, 2017

Another great week here in Kenya! So this week we met with Naftal and Jimmy this week. So there is this book called My Family booklet. It is about family history for these recent converts. When we met with Naftal and Jimmy we went over there progress. I was caught dead. Naftals was ALLL filled out! And family history here is like impossible just because how people are named and the lineage its hard to explain but I was like whaaaaat!? And Jimmys was almost the same way! His grandmother is a witchcraft and he said he gets scared to even talk to her and we had a good laugh about that with him. Another funny thing about Naftal, so he is a bota-bota rider. I dont understand how they "get cold" here but he "gets cold" and so he wears 7 layers of clothes! Like 3 long-sleeve shirts and some light jackets then some heavy jackets! He looks like a big marshmallow when its all on, its funny kabisa!!! This week a prayer was answered. We got some new investigators! We got Ezra, Edward, Scola, Angie, Samuel, and Senior. Those are the good progressing ones and we have a few others that might join the group as well. Samuel will be interesting to teach. He is like 24 and NEVER attended any church before and he has read like 20 verses total from the bible but we gave him a Restoration pamphlet about a month ago contacting. He read it last week and said it was all clear and while reading it he got a warm joyous feeling in his heart and he said it made him super happy! Its like hey hey hey.....I know what that feeling is...want me to tell you? Hehe. So teaching him will have to super slow and simple but I am up for the challenge! We also journeyed to Iten again this last week and got 6 referrals there from people who want to know more about our church! Its hard for us to go there and for people to come from there to Eldoret. Its expensive to travel but the Lord sees our sacrifices! On Sunday we also had Metrine, Sam, and Ibrahim confirmed so that was super amazing! As well as Monica gave a talk on Sunday and it was super great! The branch is starting to give little responsibilities to the recent converts to keep them coming to church and to learn and grow more so its working out great! So people have been asking about Elder Thomas and I forgot to tell about him last week so this week is the week. He is from American Fork, he is my age, he played soccer and ran track. He is super cool and funny and we get along really well! He also got to interview Elder Bednar for one of the Youth Face2Face events and he has lots of super cool stories! He is white (if you cant tell). I'm not really sure what to say about him, he is going to SUU to run after the mission. He is just awesome! I love him! That is all for this week and if you guys have a spare minute pray for my amazing, wonderful Grandpa who is having a serious surgery today (Monday). I love you all so much and am so thankful for your support! Kenyan love, Elder Merz Pictures are of us at Iten! And the video link is for The Lords Prayer in Swahili sung by the amazing Alex Boye! Hope you enjoy and the Swahili is a perfect match! This is also what Swahili sounds like! Enjoy! I love this song and the video!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA FRED!!! I hope you had the best birthday! You have been such an influence in my life and we have so many unforgettable memories! I cant wait until I will get to work with you again! I am so lucky and blessed to have my Grandpa. I dont know how many people can this but my Grandpa is my best friend. He is so fun, funny, and overall just the best! I miss you so much Grandpa and I hope all is going well! I pray for you and love you so much!!! So this last week somethings happened. I burned my foot suuuper bad with a pot full of boiling hot water, yeah that felt nice and is still recovering but I push on haha. Also Nancy the first baptism I had here is doing really good in church and has received a calling as a Relief Society teacher! How awesome! So the schedule for missionaries has changed as well as the numbers we report and now in short we get to decide how to use our time. So the Lord really trusts us missionaries and believes in us! I am so thankful to be trusted this much! I will not let Him down. So on Wednesday we met with Okello and asked if he had a marriage certificate, he said no and I asked him when he would have the funds and be able to go get it. His response still rings in my heart "Even tomorrow". So he is getting his certificate so he can be baptized with his wife! We also met with Jimmy and Naftal on Wednesday and had good lessons. After meeting with them we went to a bar....well we thought it was a restaurant and this drunk guy at the counter called us over. So he was telling us to buy him lunch meanwhile this guy is getting drunk at noon, has car keys (so a car), and a super nice smartphone and we are like ummm dude you have more money than us! hahaha some people! Friday we had 2 lunch appointments and got fed at both places Ugali and Scuma...yeah we were crawling home that night because we were so full! We also went shopping at the market on Friday and some guy was like shouting "Mzungu Mzungu" at us and this random guy walking by was like "they are missionaries not mzungu's" we both just laughed and that is now our saying! Sunday we had a baptism of Sam. He has been coming to church for a long time but was just never baptized but everyone thought he was! So it was a great day! I love the strong spirit and just feel that the heavens open when someone is baptized! I love it so much! I would like to share Romans 8:28 with you guys. It says: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. I love this scripture and believe in its words. Things will work out for good if we love God. Its that simple just love God and for each of us that means something different but love God and all will work out for good! I hope you all have a fantastic week and are safe! I love you all! Love, Elder Merz

Sunday, March 12, 2017

So very quickly I forgot to mention last week that the best little brother had a birthday! My bro Spencer is turning 16 which as we all know is a very special one! If you see him wish him a happy birthday! Happy birthday bro I cant believe you are already 16! A lot of things will change but I know you will be able to handle them well! I am so thankful for all of the fun times we have had and will have in the future! Be safe and remember I love ya man! So this week was a crazy one. We hung out at the bus station for like 3 days but in the station I met this guy Miko. He is from Germany, about 200km south of Berlin. He was super cool and we talked for like 30 minutes! I love to meet new people!! So a few funny stories really quick. So Elder Thomas and I were walking and this girl was like hey come greet me. So we went over and she was like "Im looking for a man" he turned and walked away to a group of people I was talking to. She followed and was like "i want a man" then i said "well look at all these nice options" Pointing to the like 6 guys by me and they all like straightened their shirts and like looked nice! Then she was like "no i want a white man" and then the guys like got sad and we just laughed and were like....well sorry! Hahaha it was great! As well when we picked up 2 new white Elders that are serving here last Monday we were with Elder and Sister Pehrson. Well long story short we had 5 white Elders in the back of their truck and them in the front so 7 white people in the same truck. We drove by some matatus and this matatu conductor was like yelling "EXCESS.....EXCESS!!" and took out his phone and took a picture of the license p late and then was like shouting "Policia wapi!?" Which is where is the police in Swahili. We were all laughing so hard because you should see how they pack these matatus hahaha! It was super funny! I decided I will just include funny moments instead of saying them at the end. We had another baptism this week of Sister Monica. Her mother is a member but less active and we've been teaching her a while and she has been progressing very well! She loves the church and an RM here I am pretty sure likes yeah there we go! We also got this new investigator named Okello. He is so amazing and he had an amazing first lesson with him! He already loves us and we have a baptismal date for him as well as he contributed in the 2 classes on Sunday (gospel principles, and priesthood) as well as he attended the baptism of Monica! It is so amazing and I am so humbled and grateful to the lord for putting such good people into our path. It really is a blessing! I love the missionary work and am excited for rainy season to be coming. Thats where it rains like all day every day for a few weeks! I am so thankful for all the emails and my wonderful friends, family, and other support I am getting! Keep save! Penda, Elder Merz