Elder Merrill's Current Address

Elder Merrill's Current Address

Elder Nathaniel Merrill
Philippines Baguio Mission
PO Box 7 (po box for letters only)
Brgy: San Vicente East
Urdaneta City, Pangasinan 2428

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I appreciate all the letters I´ve been receiving from all of you so far, thank you for sending the letters you´ve sent. Mom asked me if I needed a coat, I have to say it is beginning to get a little cold, and may even snow soon so a jacket or coat would be nice. It´s not bad during the week, but on preparation day the only preparation day clothes I have are short sleeve shirts so a coat would be nice.
I saw Elder Gillespie today, he seemed to be doing well. My district is working hard at speaking Tagalog as much as possible. We try to speak only Tagalog, but usually English words are mixed in a little bit. We declared Saturday (tomorrow) a no English day. Not a single English word, straight Tagalog. We all agreed that it is going to be a hard and frustrating day, but that in the long run it will help us prepare for the Philippines. We are doing difficult things now to better prepare for the future challenges that await. I think the scripture is in D&C 38:30 that says if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
The lessons I´ve been teaching in the MTC have been going well. I feel that I speak the best Tagalog not when I´m preparing for lessons, but when I am there giving the lesson. Every lesson we taught this week was so amazing. In preparing for lessons I try to find every scripture I can about what we will be teaching, I try to think of everything that I might need in the lesson, and then in the middle of the lesson I will think of completely new things during the lesson, I will think of a scripture that I didn´t find. I can come up with scriptures that will help the investigator in the very moment it is needed and will be useful. Even after my careful preparations, when I am teaching the Spirit will help me to find and say things that I never prepared for. This happens many times during Teaching Resource Center when we teach members and Returned Missionaries, or when we teach our progressing investigators. An example from one of our progressing investigators Lenelyn, last week we taught Lenelyn and planned to leave her a specific Book of Mormon passage to read. However I gave a different passage to read at the end of the lesson. I didn´t even know exactly what that passage said, but I asked her to read that before our next visit. My companion was a little annoyed that I didn´t stick to our plan. This week when my companion and I started preparing a lesson for her, we both realized that the scripture we had given her to read was a perfect scripture for our lesson. We had a really good lesson and talked about the importance of the Holy Ghost, she was very receptive to our lesson. (We also had her read a scripture about the Holy Ghost that mentioned baptism by fire, which turned out to be a bad idea because we didn´t anticipate her being very afraid of being baptized by fire and our needing to explain that is was not really fire, but the Holy Ghost and the feeling in our hearts.)
The Progressing Investigators we have are not technically ´´real´´ investigators, they are playing a role as an ongoing investigator, but we are told to treat them as real investigators, and our teachers act as real investigators. The teachers here have been on missions and so play investigators based on real people with real concerns that they taught. One of our investigators named Conrad has a wife who is very Catholic and hates the Mormons, it is hard to resolve these concerns. We have the progressing investigators here to help us learn to teach and resolve investigator´s concerns before reaching the Philippines. When we treat the investigators as if they are real we can feel the spirit and teach effectively in the lessons and will be better prepared in the Philippines. The missionaries who don´t take the MTC seriously will not be prepared when the time comes.

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