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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Returning Members

This week was a good week. Most recently on Sunday we had a district conference. Elder Valdez of one of the Quorums of the Seventy came and spoke (I don't know which Quorum, but I checked the Ensign and his picture isn't in it so it's not the first. However there is a Filipino in the First Quorum of the Seventy, his name is Elder Teh. He is the Area President of the Philippines Area, and he happened to be in Baguio to speak with President Jensen the day we arrived and so I got to meet him.) Elder Valdez is from an area where they speak pure Tagalog. That means that he has a better accent and also has larger Tagalog vocabulary than a lot of people here. He used words that my Companion didn't know sometimes. He talked about families and the importance of building a strong family bond. Aside from Elder Valdez, President and Sister Jensen spoke, as well as the District presidency in the Agoo district. I am not exactly sure how church organization works, but I am pretty sure that until a district becomes a stake they are under authority of the Mission President over the area. Also on Sunday night, my companion and I were walking with nowhere to go because our last appointment of the night had just fallen through, and our way to somewhere we saw a member and so stopped to talk with him. This member is one who a month ago was less active and hadn't been to church in a really long time. We started teaching the family and inviting them back to church. We saw this man out going to visit another family who he had noticed wasn't at church earlier. He told us he wanted to share the message of Elder Valdez with this other family. It was such a rejoicing feeling in my soul. Here he had come from being less active to fellowshipping and inviting others to come back. The focus of the Baguio is to rescue, I think I said that before, but I don't think I mentioned that the reason that is so is because Elder Teh said the entire Philippines is to focus on the rescue effort. It is good to see Returning Members. There are a lot that just fell through after they were baptized. We've taught people that haven't been to church in years but will admit that they still know the church is true. Often they are actually excited to see us and are glad to accept our invitation to return.
In the most recent district meeting we had, one of the missionaries going home soon presented a checklist for good missionaries written by David O. McKay. In my district there are 3 missionaries going home this transfer. There are only 4 companionships, and there is one missionary of each companionship going home except for mine. But, David O. McKay created this checklist that until now I have never seen before. He would ask questions to the missionary. Most of the things are standard and you hear a lot from different places and times as you prepare for a mission, but there was one in particular I have never heard said before. David O. McKay asked the question "Are you memorizing at least one scripture a day?". My response is; "No... Should I be?" So I decided that I am going to memorize at least one scripture a day. Today is day 6 in that new found task.

I am glad to hear once again that Everyone is doing great. I love you all,
Love, Elder Nathaniel Merrill

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