Monday, July 31, 2017

KARIBU NYUMBANI ZUSTER MERZ!!!! Welcome home to my amazing Sister Alexis. She is such a big example to me in my life and i am so thankful and grateful for her. She has had so many amazing memories and experiences as a missionary and one day we will be able to sit around a campfire and share stories and experiences! So last Monday night as I am trying to sleep President Msane calls us. My heart dropped off the face of the earth for obvious reasons. But I was half asleep. But he told us that some new missionaries are coming in and he wants one of them to be in a 3 sum with Elder Otika and I. We were told that he was coming the next day. He came the next day and he is super funny! He is from DRC Congo so he speaks and sounds french and doesn't not know much English. So we were just laughing the first night and he was like "Good dream" and i just about died laughing the way he said it. He says things that are funny, but i am helping him to learn English. The Buru Buru sisters also got a sister from the Congo and so I am now the district leader for the biggest District in the mission! I now have 10 missionaries under me. Saturday was an amazing day for me. We get on a bus and this lady sits next to me. Her name is Jackie. So there are guys that go around on the buses and sell candy and gum. Well she got some sweets and gave me some of them for no reason! It made me smile a ton and then we talked the whole bus ride until we had to get off, i contacted her as well and got her number so we can go teach her! then as we are walking to the church there was a massive Jam and this guy was telling us to come to his car. At first I was like no thanks i dont wanna get kidnapped. But we went. Then the back passenger rolls down the window and its the very pretty white lady who is like "ELDERSSSS!!" i was like what the freak is this?? I go on the other side so i dont get run down and it is a couple from Texas/Florida who is here on holiday and they wanna work with us! I got there number and hope to work with them this week before they go back to Utah because they go to UVU. There names are Stone and Kennedy Ramsey. We also went to South B and i did an interview for them and it went great! What a fantastic opportunity it is! We then went back to the church and met with Beth. She is a very good investigator and she has some family who is in the church so we are hoping to see her in the waters soon! We also got fed which was great! We then had to go to the Buru Sisters flat because they were locked out, so we had to help them in and then we walked suuuuper far back home. But overall it was the best day of the week! On Sunday it was a special day. We had a baptism of Sister Mary. She is soooo committed and is like already a member before she got baptized. But she is so ready and got baptized and it is even MORE special! It was her birthday!!! So she got baptized on her birthday!!! How special!! The week has been great but also this week is a difficult one. It is great to have my sister home but it is also there is a small comfort in knowing you have a member of your family that is a few hundred miles away instead of 10,000. But now everyone is 10,000 miles away. She that is a bit hard. But the harder part is that the 3rd of August is my dearest mothers Birthday. Her 50th. It still cant be true in my mind. She just doesn't email me anymore. But she is still there. I cant get it through my head. It is something that will be hard for me my entire mission. But there will be days like the 3rd where it will be even harder. If your mother is still alive and you get this. Please truly appreciate her. There is so many things i wish i could tell my mom. So many memories i still want to have with her. But there is now a gap in my heart and life that cant be filled. I miss you Mom. I love you so much. Happy Birthday Mom ❤😞💔 Also this week might be my last time to email for a few weeks. It is election time here and this is Africa. this is kenya. So we might be inside due to safety for a while. Last elections the missionaries were inside for a month. So if you dont hear from me, just hope I'm still alive. One last thing. The church is doing another Face 2 Face event with Elder Rasband and they are satellite broadcasting to the Buru Buru chapel. Where i serve. Some of our investigators will be there. So watch that and you might see me. Look for the probably only white guy in the crowd. Anyways have a great week and remember to smile. I will try to do the same. Love, Elder C. Merz

Monday, July 24, 2017

SO MY AMAZING SISTER IS COMING HOME ON THURSDAY!!! It is so crazy that she is already done with her mission! She has been such a big example and help to me as a missionary but more importantly as a sister. Shes always been there and really wants the best for me. I wish her the best of luck and success as she comes home and moves back into the normal world. There is so much I could say but time is never my friend. So basically just Congratulations and know how much I love you and care about you! This week has been a bit frustrating. But we got to meet Matthew. We were eating some fruit on the church's grass and this guy comes in the gate and up to us. He introduces himself and we then and go teach him and he speaks super English and is really good and interested! We also got to meet with Matika and his wife again and I guess we answered his prayer! He wanted us to read the Book of Mormon with him and his wife and thats what we had planned to do. It was great to see the spirit guiding us in that planning! We also got to share the video about our amazing prophet with an investigator. Its called On the Lords errand. In short he is a great great man and has been his entire life! He is such an example to me and someone I look up to dearly. He also has a special place in my heart. So on Saturday we were waiting for our investigators and Otika was playing football. Well he rolled his ankle super bad. And we had to go to the hospital. Let me tell you. This hospital scared me. It had to be haunted. Look up an episode of Ghost Adventures where they go to an old abandoned hotel and that was what it was like. Open, empty dark hallways with wards that have beds and scary equipment and there were no workers in this one part and yeah it was straight out of ghost adventures. Then when he got an x-ray the dude is wearing sandels and normal clothes. Niiiice right?? Anyways keep on praying and going to the Lord for the help or wishes of your heart. I can promise he hears all of our prayers! Love you all and welcome back my sister home nicely!! Love you all, Elder C. Merz

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This will have to be quick because Hakuna time. But the week was good! We had interviews on Tuesday with the President. Elder Harrott and Elder Card and Elder Otika and i went to Subway and somehow someone snatched Elder Harrotts bag. Feels super bad for him :( But all is well. Then Wednesday we had Zone Conference. The Zone Conference went well. It was a loooong day since i had to be in Upperhill at 9 for a leadership meeting so we arose at 6 and got back and went to bed at around 11. It was great though!! Sister Torrie made some niiiiice deserts from home! Like some fudge! YOOOO that stuff is sooo sweet! It made me sick! :/ so when i get home i might die. We had some good plans for Thursday but duties call. We had to go to Mlolongo to do an interview for baptism. It went super great for my first interview and it is such a privilege to be able to interview someone who wants to enter the church and to really just be led and feel the spirit!! But it takes so long to go there and we had to wait for the lady so we didn't do anything on Thursday. Skip to Sunday. We had 2 baptisms of Ken and Solomon. I got the opportunity to baptize them and it went super great! As well as 2 recent converts gave talks in Sacrament. We also had a little party for 2 missionaries who returned home who served here in this mission! And then met with a few investigators! The week was a great week! Happy birthday to two very special people. My cousin Zach and his wonderful mother Mindy! I hope you guys have a fantastic birthday! As well as for my friends that have already been out a year or left last 20th of July like Tim and Luke. Happy 1 year to you guys this week! Congrats!! Love you all!! Love from ya boy, Elder Merz

Monday, July 10, 2017

So I forgot to mention last week but my new companion is Elder Otika! He is from Eldoret but goes home in December. But we get along super well, he is great! He reminds me A LOT of one of my best friends from home, Drew Cash. We have 2 baptisms coming up this next week. Solomon and Ken. Kens mother is a less active and Solomon is Kens good friend. We went and visited Solomons family and it went great! They never heard of our church but could see how happy it was making there son and now they want to learn as well!! The gospel really is great and no matter who you are you can have an influence. This 11 year old by his example is introducing his family to the church! On Thursday Elder Pavik my good friend came to visit us. He got moved to Busia on the other end of Kenya but they were in town for MLC. So we snuck into the Kayole 1 and 2 flat and made there house look like it was broken into. Elder Harrott and Elder Card were freaking out and then they opened one of the bedroom doors and there he was just sitting and chilling! SURPRISE we yelled hahahaha it was sooo funny! I wish you guys could have been there! Elder Pavik and I then just talked about cars because he is super into them as well. But sadly he goes home in 11 weeks! But we'll keep in touch!! We got some good new investigators this week and I am looking forward to helping them to progress! One day we were coming back from Dandora and this dude hops in the drivers seat who has NO CLUE how drive but starts going and is jerking us around because the car is manual and is flipping on the wipers and almost runs over some people and yeah it was soooo nice hahaha Elder Otika and I were laughing sooo hard!! But the actual driver didnt think it was pooper. Then that same day we are almost home and this little girl just runs up to me and gives me the biggest hug around my legs. Its just little things like that, that give you something nice to smile about! So theirs this guy. He says he is Christ. But his name is John Paul. Buut anyways yeah he is kinda crazy. So long of the short i bet you didnt know that "Christ" plays rugby. Yep it is his sport of choice. Number 12 position actually hahaha freak this guy makes me laugh! The week was a great week though and the people are progressing well. I made it though the first week as a DL so I can keep on going! Thank you everyone for all of the love and support you give to me! Hope all is going well and family you all look so great at the 4th of July parade! Love you all and miss you all so much! Thanks to everyone else who sent me pictures as well! All my love from the land of lions, Elder C. Merz

Monday, July 3, 2017

Many changes. This week was a good week. We got to have lunch after our DDM with the whole District and we then went and saw brother Matika and his wife again. She is progressing well and they were supposed to come to church on Sunday together as a family but only Brother Matika was able to come. But when we taught his wife about Tithing he told us how he has been having a problem paying it himself. We had a great discussion with him and on Sunday he brought his tithing and showed us! It was great!! It made me feel really good and smile on the outside as well as the inside. We got to see Agnes our Recent Convert on Thursday in Dandora. She lives in Athi River so she goes to the Athi River chapel because it is much closer than the Buru Buru one. But she was at her sisters house in Dandora so we went and saw her. Her husband was also there and it was a miracle. The gospel really does change people. I have witnessed that many times but this time it was just different for me. When we first met her husband he was not a very good person and would get drunk a lot and Agnes even told us that she wanted to leave him and in the lesson we had before he was not engaged at all and not interested but we referred him to the Athi River Elders anyways. Well I guess he has been taught and was a COMPLETELY different person when we met with him. They were both just so happy together and just had a glow to them. It was something so different and it really touched me. the gospel really is for everyone. We went to a lesson with the sisters on Friday and we were talking with Jennifer about church. Sister Maina gave such a strong testimony about church. The whole room was just dead silent and everyone could feel a close connection and Jennifer even had some tears rolling down her cheeks it was so powerful. These people just really need to know how much we care about them and there happiness, because we really do. I want to make everyone happy. Life is hard and I think everyone should have a reason to smile each and every day. Then came Saturday. We got a referral from a member. It is her boyfriend and wants to know more so we met with him and it was just overall a great lesson. We got to be at the church for the Young Womens activity as we got fed some good food. Thats always a plus! We then went with the Bishop and Brother Loviet and home taught Brother Musheme. He is this tender older guy who is the only member of his family but he is soooo strong in the faith. He is the nicest and just most genuine person. We taught him and then went with the Bishop to see a lady named Mary. We have met her a few times around where we stay and we contacted her. She is so nice and interested. We went and met with her. So she is actually from Dallas. She has family here that she was visiting but by gods grace we were able to bump into her. We went through the introduction to the Book of Mormon and she is going to read it on her 19 hour flight back to Dallas. We got her contact information and i was able today to send that referrals to some missionaries in Dallas so she can continue to learn more. I pray she gets baptized. it will truly bless her and her family. Tonight was also transfer night. We got a call from the Mission President and I am now a District Leader. I have 8 missionaries that I get to lead. It is a great opportunity for me but I am scared as well. I want to be a good leader. To help each and every one of them individually and personally. To help them become better missionaries and better people each and every day. So pray for me. The last few days have been hard on me. Elder McGrath has been transferred to Athi River and I am now a leader and I am deeply missing my family. Especially my Mom. I am very good at hiding my feelings and sometimes it just comes out. I really am not as strong or wonderful as people think or say I am. My Sister goes home in 3 weeks and I have over a year until I get to be home. I love to be a missionary dont get me wrong, it is the best thing ever! But it is also the hardest thing. I get made fun of daily, i dont get respected and things are just so difficult. Please pray for me i could really use it. Have a great week everyone and enjoy celebrating the 4th of July. The US really is such a great country! My Aunts such as Shauna and Mindy. If you take any pictures of the parade or the fireworks or any pictures on the 4th could you send them to me? Again thanks everyone for everything. Know how much I love you all and care about you. Smile and be happy. I miss you Mom. All my love, Elder C. Merz