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Monday, February 29, 2016

One more

Hey everyone!

Another good ol' week in Cohab Juscelino for the trio of triumph. We sometimes have some rough patches, but thanks to the important work we're doing we can always resolve our differences using the gospel and really applying the simple principles we teach every day. Love for God is always first, but right behind it is love for our fellow men, and boy do I love my companions! 

We seem to have a problem. Before we had a great group of investigators we loved teaching and that occupied the majority of our time pretty well... but now many of those investigators are recent-converts, and most of them are friends, so we are quite lacking in non-members to teach. But we'll fix that problem here soon, there are literally 3 planets worth of people in São Paulo alone.

I've been in this area so long that I participated in my second Itaquera Stake Conference hahaha (Stake Conference is every 6 months, and it's rare to stay for 2 in the same area) At this rate, I'll stay for General Conference too!;)

I love you all, and I pray for you often. Go do serve someone else this week! 

Elder Merrill

Chillin with Nito at the chácara for p-day today

Churrasco lunch

Sweet Turkey

Just someone's cows on the road

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sweet Week


I have once again found myself with but little time left, so this'll be briefer than it deserves to be:

Baptism- James is another friend of Elizeu, and I just love him so much.... It's so cool that almost all the young men we play soccer with are now members of the church, it's just that much more fun. Larissa I've already said some about, but she is so special to us! Last week she was reading General Conference talks without us even asking her to! That just lets you know what level she is on. She's basically prepared to be called General Relief Society President within the next few days.... (just kidding, kind of;) She gave us little notebooks with notes in the front to each of us yesterday, and after the baptism bore a powerful testimony. I just felt so happy, so filled with's a feeling that's hard to describe. The closing hymn was perfect: "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today"

I love you all so much, and I promise to write more next week!

Elder Merrill

Presidente and Sister Silcox came to James' and Larissa's baptism! It was so cool!

Comparing height with Letícia haha

For p-day today, we went fishing on the property of a member that's in the middle of the forest.... we had to wake up at 5:30 to walk there, but it was SWEET
Nothin beats fishing in the rain
HUGE spider

O grande pescador..... I'm not as into fishing as the rest of the Merrill boys, but it's in my blood.... I caught the most, and I'm proud to say I also caught more than Tom did ;)

Chillin on a mountain in Brazil
Chillin on a mountain in Brazil

Monday, February 15, 2016

Just some things


One thing we love doing is to play soccer with the young men to build our friendship with them and find some of their friends to teach (and because.... well, soccer. What person in Brazil doesn't love it?)

We learned a cool magic trick with coins that we now use when we teach tithing..... it's fun to watch people think it's just gonna be another regular lesson and then BOOM it's suddenly way cooler. Who doesn't love magic?:)

As we were walking one day, Elder Ambriz asked if there were other mammals that walked on 2 legs besides humans, and Elder David answered confidently, "Giraffes!" ....... so now giraffes walk on 2 legs.

We saw some great progress this week in many of the people we're teaching, and we had the marvellous chance to baptize Robson, another friend of Elizeu, a stellar young man in the ward. Larissa, the reference we received awhile back is absolutely amazing and so prepared. Her desire is so strong and sincere to find the truth. After lots of praying and studying, she recieved the certainty that this IS the true church of Jesus Christ and wants to be baptized this next week. It is so amazing when we teach her, because the Spirit is so strong, and I can tell she will give amazing service in the future. I'm stoked.

I love you all, and appreciate all the support and prayers you send my way!

Elder Merrill

Pictures, because mustaches.

I was a bit jealous of the life of ease of this cat

Cliché missionary-Book-of-Mormon-on-a-random-couch picture

Remains of Macumba (a sketchy religion)

Robson, another friend of Elizeu​

Monday, February 8, 2016

Feliz Fevereiro

The place we're using for internet is kinda bad, so I can't even send photos.... They'll come next week.
Elder Ambriz said that this week was strange because I was more of a regular person because nothing dumb/hilarious happened to me (aka, touch electric things, etc.) Maybe this next week things will return to normal.

This week we were able to continue teaching Larissa, an awesome investigator. She is sooooo intelligent and is really seeking the truth. We've spent lots of time studying and pondering to know how to really help her know this gospel is true, because we can just feel that she has a hunger in her life  that only the gospel can satisfy.
I don't really have a ton more to share, probably in the coming weeks I'll tell the outcomes of many things that are happening right now. I love you all, and I hope you all make someone smile at least every day this week! You never know who's in need of a boost!
Have a great week!
Elder Merrill

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Well, there was a change in plans.....

Querida família,

This week was a swell one. Minus the days that I was sick. I knew that since the previous week both of my comps got sick, that I was destined to have my turn shortly.... and it came. Nothing awful, just annoying because I had a lil' fever and headache (with stuffy nose and coughing) for about 2 days, and I've got the lingering sniffles... but it's all good now, I'm not dead. And it wasn't the Zika infection, which seems to be going around South America....

I discovered what it's like to be shocked by an electric fly swatter..... Highly do not recommend. It was awful. Elder Ambriz and Elder David laughed for more than 10 minutes without stopping, and had sore abs afterwards.... I just had a sore finger.

We were also able to baptize Daniel, the brother of Alecsander and Bethania. I love that family so much, they are so cool. One day their mom and dad will accept the gospel and they can be sealed as a family in the temple of the Lord, I just know it. It's going to a wonderful day, one I hope I can witness!

This week is the transfer.... Yesterday when our District Leader called, he said, "Elder Merrill, Elder Ambriz, and Elder David..... will stay." So contrary to previous thoughts, I get to stay for another 6 weeks in Cohab Juscelino! In my interview with President last week, he mentioned that he personally had other plans for the 3 of us, but really felt inspired that the Lord wants us to stay together for one more transfer, even though he doesn't know why. (It's pretty rare to stay in an area more than 4 transfers, and this next one will be my 5th. Everyone is teasing me that I'll serve my whole mission here haha) Mission Presidents are so cool, especially mine. President Silcox truly is guided in how God wants this mission run, and works his hardest to carry out His plans.

So yup, 6 more weeks than I thought I'd have here, but I'm not complaining. The members are amazing, and the work is sweet!

I love you all!

Elder Merrill

I finally got my new plaqueta with my name spelled correctly!​ Yay:)

Pizza party in our apartment

Zona Itaquera!

I like it when we accidentally find cool places in our area....

Daniel's baptism! (everyone notice the sweet llama tie I got from my sweet momma:)