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Monday, February 27, 2017

A vida continua...

Querida fam-

Wow, p-day again? The transfer is flying by!

HOT HOT all week until Friday, when it rained and gave us a little cool down... but today is heatin up too... We drink SO much water (and tereré:)

Finding pleny of cool new people to teach, but nobody has been to church yet.. :( We were certain that this week at least 7 people were going, but nobody showed up... oh well, next Sunday e'erybody is goin to church!

Our interview with President on Friday was good. Now we're going to have interviews every transfer, which I'm excited for! More contact with Pai Silcox!

So right now we're in the middle of Carnaval. For those unfamiliar with this Brazilian holiday, it's basically 4 days straight of crazy partying, drinking, and other festivities. But it isn't very safe to be on the street after dark here in Guará. So we're holdin in here. And Saturday we fled to the temple. It was wonderful. A recent convert from our ward went for the first time, so we went to accompany him in the bapistry. We (me, Elders Ferreira, Shamo and Ruzi) helped out with confirmations and got to baptize too, but there were a ton of people so we ended up getting sore haha. After we changed clothes, Elder Ruzi said to me "now that we've baptized the dead, I want to baptize the living!" Me too. I assured him that we will:) Also, a family of the Guará 2nd ward was sealed and we got to attend, which was super cool. But right after it was done, Elder Shamo turned to us right there in the sealing room and said, "Dude.......... I just want to get married soon...." We all couldn't hold in our laughter hahahahaha

I'm loving training again. We have awesome spiritual experiences every day. My testimony and knowledge grows each day, and I love being a missionary here in Guaratinguetá.

Amo todos vocês!

Elder Merrill

"... BATIZA!"

Monday, February 20, 2017


Dear fam-


Love, Elder Merrill

But seriously, this week was hot. The coldest it got one night was roughly 83 degrees.... We almost melted. Guará is surrounded by mountains, so it makes a lil oven here that holds in the hot air and heats up even more.

So other than the infernal climate, things are great here! We are finding some awesome people to teach and working on helping the ward clean the list of 900 and some odd people that are on the records here, most of whom have either moved away or died.... so that's plenty to do! 

Elder Ruzi and I get along great. He's awesome and loves to work, I've got nothin to complain about. Meu bom filhotinho:)

We invite everyone to come to church, but everyone that says they'll come couldn't these last two weeks but said they would this week, so we'll see if this Sunday our work will start to see some real results! It's kinda difficult to open an area, but it's also fun to start EVERYTHING from zero and build up. 

The time is flying by so fast. I can't believe we're already entering into the 3rd week of the transfer!

Amo vocês!

Elder Merrill

Zona Guará!

Hammock and tereré at the end of a long day.... doesn't get better.
The Guará quatro de poder! Elder Shamo and Elder Ferreira are in the other ward
Churrasco is serious business 

Went fishing again!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hello Guaratinguetá!


Wow, I'm not in the city of São Paulo anymore.... I spent my entire mission until now in the capital region (which means cars, people, concrete, traffic, noise, pollution, craziness in general) but Guará is a city on the interior, about 2 and a half hours from the center of São Paulo. Trees, rivers, MOUNTAINS.... I kinda freaked out a lil because it's way more tranquil here. But I like it. It's a bit more similar to Wenatchee.

I have a new son! Elder Ruzi, from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais (look it up if you're curious). Straight from the MTC and has the fire! I'm excited. Our area is Guaratinguetá 1, and we're opening the area (there's nobody to show us around and such) It's always an adventure.

For example, after the long bus ride we got to the center of Guará at 9:30 pm, where a member gave us a ride to our house, which is newly rented. It's HUGE compared to all the other places I've lived.... 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, a dining room, a study room with a living room part, a covered garage space, a little yard in front and on the sides and in back.... it's ridiculous. And just us two live there.

 It was a funny moment when we looked at each other with a "what now?" look. There was nothing in the way of plates, cups, etc nor food, everything was super dirty, we only knew one member, didn't even know if we had lunch the next day and didn't even have a charger to replentish our rapidly dying phone battery.

But to sum lots of things up, Everything fell into place perfectly. We cleaned our house, got the stuff we needed, met quite a few members even before church on Sunday, started visiting people we found in the Area Book and now we have the beginnings of a teaching pool... The Lord helped us IMMENSELY this week, and I hope we'll be able to keep up with it all. I'm excited. 

I love you all!

Elder Merrill

Meu filho! Elder Ruzi
Rio Paraíba that splits our area...
Panorama from the relief society president's house looking over part of the city..
... definitely not São Paulo anymore.... MOUNTAINS. I MISS MOUNTAINS.
Our fan fell and broke a blade, so I used my taping skills to prevent us from roasting in the night.... definitely not the safest thing, but hey, it's super hot here, fazer o que, né?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tchau, Mooca


Já era. Acabou meu tempo aquí na Mooca. Estou triste por ter que deixar tudo que aprendi a amar tanto, os membros, as pessoas que ensinei, todo mundo.... Enfim, it's always hard to leave an area, but I know my work here is done. It's time for a new challenge, to get out of my confort zone. After four transfers I know like, everyone here. In ward council yesterday morning, the bishop would ask "what happened to so-and-so..?" and I would respond, or "when does (less-active) get home everyday and has work off?" and I would respond. Everyone was saying that it really was time to be transferred, I knew too much hahaha. Even though I stayed 5 transfers in Cohab Juscelino, it was in the beginning when I was trying to understand what everyone was saying heh heh....

Just said goodbye to Elder Meireles... It was a great transfer together with him. I learned lots and laughed a ton too. He's on his way back to Recife, probably will be on the beach by the time you guys read this. I'll miss the guy. Ayways, third kill in a row for me. 

I'll be going to Guaratinguetá 1, in the farthest zone of the mission. I'm excited to be able to train again! I'll have another son! I've never served in the interior, it'll be different than being here in the city.

This last week I got to pass 2 days with my dad, Elder Rodrigues! His comp went home today too, so while they were doing self-reliance we worked in my area. 

Today after Elder Meireles' exit interview with Presidente, we went to say goodbye to Gustavo and Iris. My heart broke when we had to hug goodbye. I love them so much! I'll miss them, Cleide and Sergio, and everyone else from here. I love my calling, I love São Paulo Leste!

Elder Merrill

More bolivian food!
When you buy 10, you get one free.... I've had too many free pizzas in this area....