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

Sunday, January 1, 2012


This has been a good week in the Philippines. I went on several exchanges this week. Me being a new missionary combined with my companion being a district leader means that the mission leaders are very excited to work with our companionship. Me so they can check my progress and my companion so they can help train him on being a district leader. This is his first time being a district leader. We worked with one of the Assistants to the Presidents last week, and this week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I went with an Elder named Elder Shultz from San Diego and worked in his area. (By the way, the Agoo zone is a little strange. Almost half the missionaries in our zone are going home after this transfer (7). Also, every missionary assigned to Agoo city is American. There are 3 Companionships in the city and all 6 missionaries are American, also including another new Elder who was in the MTC with me, so I see him a lot.) While I worked in the Elder Schultz's area, I got to teach a little bit differently than before. He has more investigators than we do, and they have been talking to the missionaries longer so I got to teach lessons that I haven't taught in the Mission field yet. Elder Tolman and I teach a lot about the Restoration and Joseph Smith, and a lot about the Atonement and repentance, but with Elder Schultz I got to teach about the Plan of Salvation and about Commandments. It was good. Because of the exchanges I spent the night at the Elder Schultz's apartment. Next to that there lives a rooster, that likes to crow in the middle of the night, I don't know why, but I was somewhat tired the next day. My apartment is a little nicer than his, we have a shower, granted the shower only has cold water, but it is a shower. He has a bucket. So I got to shower with a bucket, it was exciting, kind of makes you feel like you are really in the Philippines when you shower with a bucket, he also told me that most areas in the mission I will probably only have a bucket. Since I mentioned my apartment, I haven't actually moved in to my real apartment. When we got to the mission they were re-doing our apartment, so we got a temporary one for the first week. We have passed 4 different finish dates that we were told we could move in. We go visit our soon to be apartment everyday though. It has been painted in very bright colors, and every room is a different color. The colors are very bright. We talk to the painters and sometimes get appointments to go teach their families. We talked to a born again Christian preacher the other day, he didn't want to listen to what we had to say but we did talk to him for a while. He did say that he likes our church, he also mentioned a few churches that he really doesn't like. An interesting thing about teaching in the Philippines is that we really cannot use the Bible. The LDS church doesn't have a Tagalog translation of the BIble, and the King James Version is not a very good translation so we rely solely on the Book of Mormon. There are some Bible scriptures we use that are found in pamphlets that are produced by the church, and also some parts in the Book of Mormon where Jesus says the same thing he said in the Bible, but overall we only use the Book of Mormon. We really only use materials produced by the church in our teaching. Another thing that I've found in teaching is that many people here do not know their religion. They know what church they belong to and a few Bible stories but that is it. Also, when people know a Bible story, they feel the need to share it when you mention something that is related. One time someone knew the story of Judas betraying Christ, and anytime we mentioned apostles of Christ he started telling the story. The children are very excited for Christmas here. Little kids Carol every night. They go from house to house caroling. There aren't very many houses that have Christmas lights, but there are a few. I think that lights may be hard to afford, some people we teach don't have lights at all, only candles. There is a large Catholic Church in Agoo, Our Lady of Charity, that has a lot of Christmas lights up. It is an impressive display, there are some lights I have never seen in the States, but it still isn't as good as Temple square. My companion and I think we are going to go and visit the Church on a P-day, it is quite large. Anyway, Merry Christmas. Love
Elder Nathaniel Merrill

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