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, March 5, 2012

This has been another good week. This has also been a week of American food. Our neighbor has a daughter abroad in Canada that always sends her packages. She sent them a lot of oatmeal, and they didn't really like it so they gave it to us. It was Quaker oatmeal and I didn't think too much of it, but then when I ate it I realized it was way better than the oatmeal here. American food. I also sometimes eat for breakfast Honey Nut Cheerios, I use powdered milk, but it's a very American breakfast. Then Elder Fraser and I found a little meat shop in Agoo. They had boneless chicken. I haven't had boneless meat since being in the Philippines, so we went for it. We made fried chicken, and then we decided to make mashed potatoes to go with it instead of rice, a very non-Filipino meal indeed. It was so good. But now of course it's back to rice and Filipino food, which is less expensive anyway. Oh, we also found a Japanese restaurant and ate there. Not American, actually it was pretty close to Filipino. I think Japanese restaurants in America are a little bit more like American food, and likewise the "Japanese" restaurant here was more Filipino than one would be in America. It was good though.
It's been a little different this week. It's a little bit hard to adjust to teaching lessons with a new person. Just different teaching style and expectations in lessons. It's good though, you see different ways of doing things and see that there are many effective ways to teach people. Also this week we began organizing the IOS or Individual Ordinance Summary records in our branch. It's probably barely a problem in Utah, if at all, but here the records are way messed up. Many active members don't even have addresses, it just says they live in Agoo. So we spent time with the ward clerk fixing errors that have been made. We carry the IOS with us and when we find less actives we update their records. We have had some people that have died years ago that still have records, and once we find out we can have there record removed from our branch. It's a unique problem that I think is pretty exclusive to areas like the Philippines. The work in the Philippines is going great though. It's interesting as a missionary here because priorities are a little bit switched. Our focus is to bring back less Actives, which makes the teaching a little bit different. The advantage is though that we find and return less active members, and then their unbaptized children get baptized. So we build the foundation of the ward. The Philippines also has a very weak priesthood membership. Usually there are far more women and children than men in the branch, so we are working very much on the family. We want the whole family to come, especially the father. We try to find less active families with Melchizedek Priesthood holders to try and bring back. We also try to never baptize families without the Father. We do our very best to invite the fathers in. The Priesthood builds the foundation of the church, which is what we need before the church can really flourish. It's fun, It's interesting, It's hard, but It's so good.
Good luck to you all and have a wonderful week,
Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

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