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Monday, August 1, 2016

Feliz Agosto!

Querida familia-

This week was pretty swell. We weren't sick anymore, so that helped haha. 

On Wednesday I did a special division in Sapopemba (special because it wasn't the new way of doing divisions where the 2 companionships stay in the same area) with Elder Nadolny, who's been in the field 3 weeks. He's waiting for his visa to serve in the New York North mission, and learned Spanish in the MTC... so he's teaching in Portuguese, but has to keep up his English and simultaneously learn Spanish.... poor guy, it must be a headache, but he doesn't stress it. It was super fun, I love being with new missionaries because they have an energy and light about them that gets me all excited and motivated. I'm pretty sure I benefitted more from the division than he did.

We had a cool activity planned on Saturday and invited the zone to invite everyone on the street to take a tour of the our church building.Sounds great in theory, but only one person accepted the invitation... oh well, at least we planted a bunch of seeds and got a bunch of addresses to visit in our area!

This week we had the marvellous experience of seeing Daniel enter the waters of baptism. When we arrived in the area, the ward secretary passed his name to us, explaining that he'd been investigating the church for about 10 years because he married a member, but never was baptized due to unresolved doubts. He was taught by soooooooo many missionaries in this time, and he regularly watches General Conference... After our first visit, I thought "oh boy, this won't be easy....." but we continued visiting, bringing answers to his questions but always telling him that what we say meant nothing if he didn't pray about it, and if he didn't read the Book of Mormon to gain his testimony. Over the last 2 months, we saw an amazing change come over him as he really, truly meditated over the chapters we left him. One day about 2 weeks ago, we taught about baptism and remission of sins, and we challenged him to baptism. He paused, and then told us that it was finally time. We about tipped over with joy! This last Friday he was baptized and his wife bore her testimony in tears saying that God had finally answered her many many prayers. He is so exited to be sealed in the temple in 1 year from now, and really wants to have his family together for all eternity. I am always amazed at the mercy the Lord shows us. We, two boys with ties and nametags didn't do anything special; it was the power in the Book of Mormon that brought peace to his doubts; it was God who softened his years-hardened heart, who after all these years made the difference. He is amazing, and I know He loves all of us.

I love you all!

Elder Merrill

Daniel's baptism!

Augusto, our LMA was stoked to baptize since they've been friends for years

Look, so many people came to our open-house activity that the receptionists fell asleep... oh well

Sometimes I get tired of making phone calls.....

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