Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hello again! We had some very great lessons this week. We have a super pregnant investigator who is progressing very well but we aren't sure when to give her a baptismal date since she will soon have the baby and need some recovery so yeah we are just waiting but still visiting them. We went and visited Agnes and we got 2 new investigators from that who are both very interested to know more and were kinda blown away when we were explaining stuff to them and we hope to meet with them both this week. They are Regina and Peter. So there is this guy Derrick. He is very very good and yearning for the truth and the gospel. But when we met this last week he got persecuted and harassed for coming to our church and it hit him very deeply i could tell. So he wants to still learn more but he wants to wait a little bit so we are praying for him and we shared with him D&C 121 and helped him to understand that the righteous will always be persecuted. It was a hard meeting and emotional but in the end i know he will be baptized one day. Not to much for this week. Its been a great week but not much to report on. All is going well and things are moving along for us. Asantani for all of the prayers and love for my family and I. I love you all and hope everyone is having a great time with life and smiles a lot! Love to hear from you guys and its a blessing to have you in my life. Forever grateful for all of you. All my love, Elder Merz

Monday, May 29, 2017

So last Monday we went to this super good chicken place in town called Chicken Inn. We went there after staying the night in UpperHill for skyping home. Might not seem so special but it was niiice chicken and food. Oh and other fun thing about Skyping was when Elder Card was skyping and I was with him and I was messing with one of those electric fly swatters. Yep...thought it was broken but then zapped myself and let me just say that it is not broken but works. And works very well. I am also getting a problem recently. I am falling asleep on long matatu rides. Like without trying. I think i am getting old...haha. They use lots of buses here instead of the smaller matatus but there are so many jams and some rides take an hour so its interesting. We also went on Exchanges the last week. I went with Elder Limu and we went and talked to a Pastor! He was a bit scary at first but really wants to know more about our church. And it was super cool because the pastor is from Congo, the member that came with us is from South Sudan, Elder Limu is from Zimbabwe, and then me from the US. So it was 4 different countries coming together to talk about the gospel and I was happy to represent my country! Its very cool and interesting how in lessons I am having I am learning as well. I am learning from what my companion says, from what the members that come with us say, from what the investigator says, what the holy ghost is saying, as well from what I am saying. That has been very interesting for me to see and to experience. I love to learn and am glad to get that opportunity as I am helping someone else learn. So we have one investigator named Syncy. We have a basketball court and we let people come and play and he was playing one day and we went and contacted him and he was interested so we have been teaching him and helping him to come unto Christ. He is a Catholic and said before that he doesn't want to give up his church because he likes it. But then when we met this last week he said "So how can I be baptized?" We looked at each other in shock and were stumbling for words because we were NOT expecting that! So we told him that yes he can be baptized and we set a date with him for the 18th of May! It was such a powerful lesson! Random note. I saw a guy wearing a Murray football jersey this week!! I was like WHATTTT!!! Like it straight up was a Murray football jersey! That was super interesting! Lastly for the week is that we were able to help another soul Come Unto Christ this week with another baptism. Her name is Agnes and when I got here we just talked about the commandments with her and then helped her prepare some more for baptism and then Elder McGrath baptized her this Sunday! It was super nice and it is such a rewarding feeling and experience. I am excited as I am with all the Recent Converts to see there success and growth in the church. I hope that everyone has a great week and a shout-out to all of my friends who are a year younger who will be graduating High School soon! I again am so thankful and grateful for all of the love and support from everyone. I can never repay you guys for that and am forever indebted. I love you all and wish you to be safe and have a fantastic week. Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, May 15, 2017

This week has been probably the best week in a long time. We got to meet with some potential investigators and had some very good lessons. We also gave another baptismal date as well as are preparing others to be baptized! We got fed a few different times and the best of course was the opportunity to Skype home and talk to my family. Elder McGrath and I as well as about 16 other missionaries got to go to the 2 senior couples flats here in Nairobi and Skype home. The Petersen's and the Pehrsons. The Pehrsons you guys know and the Petersen's are from Los Angeles but go home tomorrow so it was nice to go on Safari with them as well as get to Skype at there place. I got to talk to my Sister in the Netherlands and my father and brother at home. It was very very nice but also a bit weird because the next time that happens....she will be at home as well haha so it was a great nice Skype for the last time as us 2 Merz missionaries are out! I also got to talk to Elder Cards family for a bit as well as Elder McGraths! It is so fun and cool to see your best friends families and just talk to them for a little bit and get some love and support from them as well! So my emails will hopefully go back to being better as they were before. Not this week but I will go back to what i was doing before to make them more enjoyable and give you guys more information about KENYA!!! So just something a bit spiritual for today is just an answer to my prayers. These past few weeks have been the hardest and most difficult of my entire life so far. With the Eldoret incident, my mother, the flu and tons of small stuff. Its crazy how life works, its as if when you are going down you are going down lower than you have ever been before. Then when you are feeling happy and just absolutely great, it is as if you have never felt like that before. We all are constantly changing and growing, if you aren't then you need to. But it is just nice to take a step back and look and things and say "Hey I can get through this!". And that is coming from strength not of my own, at least not until recently. I have been praying so hard for help, to feel peace, love and comfort. Instead of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness and worthlessness. And my prayers have been answered. By no means is everything good. But because of the grace and love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ I have been able to feel that. From all of you and from my mom as well. I love the Plan of Salvation, its one of my favorite lessons to teach. And now it has even more of a place in my heart because of my sweet mother. because of the gospel I know that one day i can see her again and that this is not the end. I might include something about Mothers Day next week as well because I don't have to much time today but it is for all the mothers including my own. Thank you all for the love and support and prayers. I hope to keep getting them and am eternally grateful for them. Everyone have a fantastic week and know how much I love you all. All my love, Elder Merz

Monday, May 8, 2017

So this last week has been an alright week. The days seem to just drag on forever but thats okay things will get better. We had a baptism last week that I forgot to mention and another one planned for this Sunday! It is a bit hard to get to know my new area just because it is new and freaking massive. But I just have to be patient and give it time like everything else. So Elder McGrath just hit his year mark in April and has been in Buru Buru (my new area) for 5 transfers. He is from West Jordan and is super cool! We get along well and its kinda funny. I swear ive seen him before because he worked at the Murray Ice Rink and I probably saw him when I went to the hockey games because he worked during some of there games haha! What a small world it is! Not much for the week to say or add as things are still hard obviously. But today we went on Safari! Elder Harrott, his companion Elder Ochieng,Elder McGrath, Elder and Sister Pehrson, and Elder and Sister Petersen and I. I forgot to bring the cable that goes to my new camera so no pictures this week but ive got some super cool ones for next week! Thanks for the emails and all the love and support I can really feel it and am so thankful for all of it. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic mothers day. I am a bit excited to Skype home but it'll be super hard with the current circumstances. But it will be good. If you have a mother make sure to call her, go see her,or give her the biggest hug and tell her how much you love her and appreciate her. You never know when it will be the last hug. Love, Elder Merz
Happy Birthday to my amazing Sister. I am so thankful for her example, love, support and for all the help throughout the years especially right now. I am so blessed to have her as a sister and she gets the nice discount of me fixing her car for Cafe Rio so you could say shes special haha! Shes only got a few more short weeks on her mission and I cant until one day we will be able to sit around a campfire and share our mission stories with each other. I love her so much and am forever grateful for her and hope she has an amazing birthday! So I moved again back to Nairobi. I am in Buru Buru somewhere safe and nice. But things still arent going to nice as now I have the flu sooo its still gotta go down before it goes up. But I am just putting one foot in front of the other and just trying to get through each day. I have read some more emails and am thankful still for all the love and support I can really feel it and I am forever thankful for the friends and family that I have. They truly are the best. I hope that you guys have a great week and are safe. Love going out to my family and friends, Elder Merz
So long story short I have decided to try to stay out. This is what I feel is the best for my family and for me. I am in Mombasa now and still struggling with everything, plus even more stuff added on top. The two biggest things are the home invasion and the biggest one of all is the loss of my poor mother. I have read a few email that I have gotten from family and friends and thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I can not at this time read all of them as just reading the few that I have read it has made me cry. But thank you all for the love and support for me, my sister, and My Family in general. For everyone who has helped in anyway possible and who will continue to help, you are blessed and will receive the highest of blessing for yourselves. I am eternally grateful for all of the amazing and irreplaceable family and friends that I have. I don't have the strength or the words to say much as of now. But my prayers and hearts go out to all of you. My very soul is torn, broken and in the deepest state of despair and pain for what has happened. I am again blessed with all the love and support though. Thank you to those who have and will continue to help and take care of my family while I am not able to be there for them in person at this moment. I dont like words to be honest. The words "I love you" are about the strongest words you can say to someone who you truly care about with your all, your everything, your soul. But to me those 3 small words, those 8 letters put together do not do enough. Do not do justice for what we are trying to express or show. You can never truly express your feelings as words do not work satisfactory enough. If I had the words for the love I have for all of you and including those who don't get my emails but have given, and shown there support and love to me and my family, i love you all from the very deepest of my soul. There are people out there who are praying for all of us right now and we will never know. But everyone just remember how much I love you and am eternally indebted for all that you have done. Prayers continually going out to my Sister in the Netherlands, my wonderful Father, my incredible Brother and to all of my extended family and those others who are affected by this tragedy. All of my tenderness, affection, infatuation, yearning and love, Elder Merz
Not sure where to start, or how to begin. This will be a short email as might the rest of my emails for a while. This has been the worst week of my life so far. At 1:30 am on Wednesday (So Tuesday sleeping night). 3 guys literally broke down our door and shattered it into pieces. They murdered someone just before and then they held machetes to us and told us they were going to kill us. While the other 2 robbed us. They took a lot of stuff including my camera so no pictures for a while. The Pehrsons and Elder Card and I were emergency transferred to Nairobi. A lot more with that story but that doesn't matter. Sunday was the day my life will change forever. It was Easter as we all know and its the time to celebrate and remember the Resurrection of Christ. On Sunday I was told from my mission President (President Msane). That my dear mother who I love with all my soul has passed on. Yeah about the worst news you could get as a missionary. I am torn beyond measure and not sure how I am going to handle this. I honestly dont know if I can. My life feels ruined and will be changed forever. I love you with all of my soul Mom. No one will ever be able to replace you or do what you have done for me. Words do not exist in any language the love I have for you and how much you will be missed. Thank you to those who have emailed me about that. I have not read them yet because I am scared to. But one day I will. Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers. I ask you to continue with them please as I am not sure how this unfillable whole in my heart and soul will be filled. Christ will have to carry me this next week and for longer I am sure. Because I cannot take even 1 more step, can not even think about taking one. My love from the very bottom of my heart goes out to all of my extended family, family friends, and any one who got the opportunity to meet one of Gods angels, my mother. I especially give all my heart to my Sister, Brother, and specially to my Father. That's all. Not more to say about that. I am empty. I am hurt. I am torn. I love you forever Mom. Her funeral will be Saturday at noon at my chapel. Friends who can make it, please do to show your love from me. She loved all of my friends so much and I know she would love your support. Email my Father for more information. All the love my heart has left to give, Elder Merz