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Monday, April 24, 2017

The last transfer...... :O

Hey fam!

So tomorrow is the transfer and looks like we'll be staying again! I'm happy because I didn't want to leave Guará nor Elder Ruzi, so we're good. However, we will be in trio, and Elder Foniciello is coming to help us out. I already know him, so it should be a fun and productive transfer:)

Our week was great. Taught some new investigators, walked a fair amount, met more less actives, We had a great Zone Conference on FridayWe had a sweet ward activity on Friday which I forgot to take pics and video of..... :( But it was a hoot, the members loved it. 

Today for P-day we went to Aparecida, a catholic tourist town that has a huge sanctuary (church) (google it) with Elder Ferreira and Shamo and some members... It was awesome! We took a bunch of pics, ate some food, bought some cheap souvenirs.... Tudo de bom:)

But the best part of the week was Thursday. We went to the São Paulo temple, to attend Larissa's sealing. Beforehand I stopped in the Area Brasil office (right by the temple) to see Bispo Guilherme, from Mooca. It was great to see him, and he gave me an update on how things are going. Then in front of the temple, I looked up to see... Elder David! I mean, David. He finished his mission in December but came for the sealing. It was fun to see him again. When we entered the waiting room, I saw others from Cohab Juscelino! The sealing ceremony was simple, but wonderful and very powerful. The Spirit was very strong, and more than anything else I felt a deep gratitude to Heavenly Father that I was able to witness the marvellous occurence of one of His children finding, accepting, and developing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt grateful that He let me have this chance while I still am in Brazil. The gospel truly changes lives. I love my Savior for the chance to represent Him in announcing these glad tidings, and seeing His marvellous blessings.

I love you all!

Elder Merrill

The sign says: "Stop, look, listen" .... to the missionaries!
Selamento de Larissa e Maicon 20/04/2017

Our p-day adventures in Aparecida! (below)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Andando e andando

Hello fam!

This week... we walked a bit more. I'm just trying to teach Elder Ruzi early on in his mission that he should value more his small future areas haha.... 

I don't know why, but it seems like missionaries are magnets for crazy people... they seem to be the only people that stop to talk to us haha The problem isn't finding people to talk to us, but people that understand and want to hear our message... Good thing the members are helping us out. We had a lunch where one irmã invited some friends, and tomorrow we'll go to their house to teach them. Another night another member did a family home evening and invited the neighbors. These are simple things just for people to see that we're normal people too! But they make all the difference.

Saturday night I got a call 10:30pm from one of the bishop's couselors saying "you are the lucky winner! You were selected to give a talk tomorrow in Sacrament meeting!" So I gave a talk haha. I love speaking in church. It was wonderful because this time I had 11 hours to prepare, as opposed to my last talk last month when I walked in to the chapel and had 5 minutes to prepare haha.

During church yesterday the primary president pulled us out of class and had us go to the primary room. The kids sang "I hope they call me on a mission" and gave us drawings of missionaries that they drew.... it was pretty stinking adorable.
I hope you all had a happy Easter! I sure did. I didn't even remember easter was coming up until Tuesday... but I hope you all could spend time with family remembering the why.... That He rose from the dead! I love serving and representing Jesus Christ. He lives, and He loves us more than we know!

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Merrill

We did a family home evening with a member who made pizza for us in the pizza oven... I ate more than a whole pizza by myself hahaha
Several members gave us boxes of chocolates for easter, giving us a total of 4 haha.... they're just so sweet:)

Monday, April 10, 2017


Querida fam bam

We walked a whole lot this week. Like, a lot. I'm learning a lot about humility, patience, and faith in this area. There aren't a whole lot of results, but we are doing our best, and I know the Lord is watching over us every day.

Elder Ruzi's birthday was this week, and I planned 3 different surprise parties for him... he found out about only one beforehand haha. I told him we were going to contact Jefferson, a reference, Thursday night and we showed up at a member's house and he got super confused until they brought out cake and we started singing hahaha.... Afterwards he asked me if the Jefferson actually existed. Unfortunately, he wasn't actually a real person, but hey, free cake.

We had an awesome experience on Tuesday with an investigator who's working to make huge changes in his life. He has lots of obstacles, but the spirit was super strong as we taught him the Restoration. He accepted our invite to do a church tour the next night. As we toured the church building explaining about the restored church of Jesus Christ, he was astounded and intrigued. We entered the chapel and explained about the sacrament and he said he felt a strong peace within him and asked if he could say a prayer. It was one of the sincerest prayers I've heard in my life, and I was deeply marked by his good heart. He still hasn't come to church yet, but I've seen the great progress he's had in his life since we first started meeting with him, and it's amazing.

Saturday was one of the best days of my mission. Larissa We left our house before 6am to catch the bus to São Paulo. We arrived at the temple 10am to participate in the session that a member from Jardim Odete was getting her endowment. In the session I saw a member from Penha. Afterwards in the hall, I saw some members from Mooca. Then after eating lunch, Larissa (from Cohab Juscelino) got there. I saw people from all of my past areas. It was super cool. But the best part was being able to watch Larissa pass through the temple and receive her endowment. In 2 weeks, we're going to watch her be married for time and all eternity to a wonderful returned missionary in the São Paulo temple. What a blessing to be able to see the difference and light in her. It's an amazing privelege to see such a miracle. I love the temple.

Much love to you all too!
Elder Merrill

Feliz birthday boy 
We tried contacting an old investigator... this was where we ended up

*cue Gollum voice* "The staiiiiiirs!" (the pic doesn't show, but the stairs in the background are really steep and long
Me: "Nooooo I'm tired of walking... just leave me here to die"

Monday, April 3, 2017

April, what? Already?

How did this happen? Weren't we just in February?

Saturday, April 1st didn't end without Elder Merrill pullin some pranks... Most of them aren't really funny to non-missionaries, but one included me calling the assistents to have them call our zone leaders to fake that Elder Ruzi was gonna be emergency transferred.... Poor Elder Shamo believed it and got sad... But no one was hurt haha

This week we committed to work even harder and smarter than ever since conference was going to fill up all of our Saturday and Sunday... We were able to see some miracles every day, even though we're still at a loss for a solid teaching group, but I know the Lord is watching out for us.

General Conference was, as usual, stellar. We even had one investigator that went to the Sunday morning session! (still difficult to help people go to church) I enjoyed most the Priesthood session and noticed the enfasis on the difference that sincere service makes in our lives. The focus needs to be on others if we are to receive the promised blessings and change our very nature. I love the opportunity to serve God full-time and to help others learn about what makes me so happy and content. I love being a missionary!

Amo todos vocês! 
Elder Merrill

We made district t-shirts
Zona Guará!
Zona de Macho
I love brazilian birthday parties