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, February 6, 2012


Hello again everyone,
It has been a good week in the Philippines. I think I was asked about getting letters and packages. I have so far received one package, and haven't received regular letters, only Dear Elders. That's ok though, if you wrote letters regularly I will eventually begin to receive them regularly, if you didn't write regularly, well that's alright too.
The house that we live in has been painted this week. They painted the outside bright yellow. It is really easy to give directions to trike drivers now because we just need to tell them the big yellow house by the highway. And yes, we live right on the highway. We have been trying really hard to get to work well with the members. When the members are involved everything becomes easier. One highlight this week is we got to work with a former Baguio missionary. There is a missionary who married a girl in the ward we live in and he and his wife came and worked with us one day. He has only been home for about a year, I actually met one of his former companions. One fun thing about working with him is that he knows how to be a missionary, which some members do not. He also sees the importance of the members, and that the missionaries can't do everything. He also speaks really good Tagalog. Since we are really focusing on Less Active and Part Member families, the members are even more important. They are often already friends with these people. They can invite the less actives to do things that the missionaries just don't have time for.

This last Sunday I was asked again to give a talk. (Not fast Sunday, the week before.) This time I wrote my talk in English. I would simply write the main points of my talk, and then I could say what I wanted in Tagalog as I gave the talk. It was nice to have enough confidence to be able to give the talk that way. It also really helps my talk to be good because it is hard when you are reading from a paper, especially a different language. Also with respect to language, after I gave the closing prayer in a lesson with a recent convert this week, she told me "You're good at Tagalog, you didn't mess up in yyour prayer" Actually she said it in Tagalog, but that's what it meant. It's good. The way it was said it seemed to say that usually I do mess up, but that doesn't matter. I find that people know what you are trying to say. In the Philippines it is hard to tell when people don't understand. Which of course can sometimes be problematic. Filipinos will often just go along with what you say. That's why we have to ask them good questions in our lessons. Questions bring out how they really feel. The investigators really begin to grow as they answer questions as well. I think it is because when they put it in their own words it really sinks in. After we taught about prayer to an investigator we asked why prayer was important, and then she told us that through prayer we can learn if things are really true. She then told us that of course she was going to pray about the Book of Mormon, because thats how we learn the truth. This investigator has dropped out of missionary discussions multiple times, and she told us it was because she was always confused before. The Gospel message really is very simple, but sometimes we complicate it. In Preach My Gospel, every doctrine is presented simply enough that anyone can understand it. The Scriptures too are not overly complicated. As missionaries all we have to do is teach the doctrine simply, as it is found.

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