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, September 24, 2012

September 24th, 2012

    Today I am writing from Dagupan, we went there to get some things we couldn't find in Lingayen.  It is a busy city.  Anyway we found tons of new people this week.  We found this one really nice family, but it turns out they can't read, so they are not reading the Book of Mormon.  (well actually one is pretending, he won't admit he can't read and just makes stuff up if we ask him to read a scripture.) 
      We found a lady this week that used to wash clothes for the missionaries way back when. This women was endowed before and just slowly went inactive.  She is so nice to us.  She is pretty excited to see us when we come over.  She also told us she wants to come to church again.  We will keep working with her, she also has a lot of inactive children and thus non member grandchildren.  One less active man we've been teaching Brother Randy has come to church for a few weeks now.  He is just really determined to go to church now.  I guess in the first few lessons we stressed it enough and he has got it down.  Now if we ask a question, just about any question (Why is the atonement important?) he will bring up going to church. (Well it means I can be clean again, but I gotta just keep going to church)  He is a pretty cool guy. 
     This week is family week.  I think it is supposed to be a nationally recognized thing, but it seems to me only our church is actually doing anything for family week.  I think you can see the gradual degrade of the importance of families in the worlds eyes, but that the church continues to uphold the family values. 
      Thats all I really have time for today sorry.  Oh wait.  I got a letter that said my family should update my blog more often.  Maybe dad should do it.  You might have to teach him how first, but he would definitely be consistent. 

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This week a general authority came to our mission.  I think I already mentioned that he would come, but Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy came.  He is awesome.  
He is such a good speaker and such a funny guy.  He is in the Presidency of the Philippines area. (The President is Micheal John U. Teh, who happens to be the youngest general authority in the church.)  Elder Ardern is from New Zealand and is really cool.  One of the things that he did was to pick 3 random missionaries to give spiritual thoughts.  He announced that he was going to choose a few missionaries to give a scripture and then points to me and says how about this missionary here, with the blue tie.  Well I was sitting in the front and center so I guess that is what I get.  I went up and stood next to Elder Ardern and just talked to him for a few minutes.  Even though we were standing at the pulpit we were just talking, he asked my name and few other things.  Then he told me to share my scripture and expound it for the other missionaries. I chose Mosiah 15:7 and I focused on the idea that we need to let our wills be swallowed up in the will of the Father.  I talked about what that meant and how we could do it and so forth for a few minutes, then Elder Ardern stood back up, further expounded my scripture and my ideas.  Then he asked me a few more questions about how I do missionary work.  He also had me quote 1 Nephi 3:7, which he used as an example of someone whose will was 'swallowed up' by the will of the Father. (I was glad I was able to quote that.)  Then I was done and he called another missionary.  Later in different talks by Sister Ardern and President Monahan they referenced my scripture as well.  
              It was a good Tri-zone conference.  It was in Dagupan City which is super crowded.  I don't really want to be assigned over there.  I hear it's really bad when it rains as well.  The rainy season is still going on, although it hasn't rained in about 3 days.  It lasts until December and the biggest Baguios they say are often in Septmeber, but it's been a pretty quite month so far.  This week most of our progressing investigators did not come to church.  The ones who usually come didn't.  But we had this one part member family come that no one thought would come.  Their house is the second furthest house I have taught at in this area.  It is about as far away as you can get and still be in this ward.  They are in an area called Aplaya, that we only go to once a week.  We went to them once, and they came to church.  I was way excited to see them at church.  Our ward here does a great job at fellowshipping people that show up, it's great.  Everyone just loves the newcomer.  I don't really have any time left so that's all I can really say right now. 
        There is a chance me or my companion may transfer this week, we don't know yet but the transfer day is Friday so I may have a new companion or area next week.  We shall see.   

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                             Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

September 10th

We had a good week this week.  Next week will be good too.           Today Elder Ardern and his wife start their mission tour.  They are touring our mission for a week and are going to work with, study with, and teach with missionaries.  Elder Ardern is in the Philippines area presidency and spoke last October conference.  (He is British and talked about  A Time to Prepare.)  We are also going to have a conference where he is going to speak it will be fun.

        We have this one less active that really doesn't want to be taught.  What she does though isn't so bad.  Every time we go over there she grabs the nearest neighbour and says here teach this person instead.  Every time we go there we meet new investigators and many of them have been pretty receptive to us.   Our less active is excited as well to come to those lessons and bear testimony so it's pretty good lessons.  We do need to find our less active's concern though and help her come back to church.  She does seem pretty willing to come back.  We had another less active family that came to church for the first time yesterday.  We were very excited.    This family was really active before and just gradually fell away.  Like many do they said it was just really hard to come back, especially the first day back.  But when they came in I know they felt welcome because this amazing ward just fellowshipped them immediately.  There were so many members there to help them feel comfortable is was so good.  It's hard for a missionary when the people they help get to church aren't received well.  
      We have one family that has a little girl named Darling age 11.  This family is less active and doesn't come to church, but Darling hasn't been baptised yet.  Well we didn't think our teaching was having any effect over there, but it does.  At least a little.  Yesterday Darling showed up to church with one of her friends (neighbour who is not a member.)  So although no one else is coming, we have the youngest member of the family.  Maybe she can be the gateway to help her whole family return to church.  It's really cool sometimes to see the spiritual strength of kids.  It's sad to see them need that strength, but it is cool to see it. I should also mention that the family that came for a baby blessing last week came again.  We were excited.  They said that it is easier to come the second time to church.  We also had another less active sing a special musical number.  (Guess who was asked to accompany her about a minute before she sang.)   But we were pleased to see that she had excepted that small assignment   

          I went on exchanges with the District leader this week.  It was really fun, but there was about a foot of water.  As we were wading through the water for a while a rock fell into my shoe.  I thought I could wait but then I decided to take it out right then.  I stopped and took off my shoe and went to dump out my rock, but to my surprise... I discovered a frog.  There was a frog in my shoe.  Now I don't think that has ever happened to any of you.  If it has, good for you. 
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Monday, September 3, 2012

Septemer 3rd, 2012

This week was a good week.  How many letters do I start that way? Well it's true every time.  This week we got 20 less actives at church.  We also started teaching a few families that are preparing to enter the Temple.  They aren't less active, but we visit them once a week and can definitely help strengthen them to prepare for the Temple.  
Another thing that we did this week is that we went to every less active that has a baby that hasn't been blesses and taught them about children.  Being fast Sunday it means you can bless a baby and it seems that for most less actives they just need a push to get over the edge and go to church and after that they do pretty well.    So we went and taught from 3rd Nephi 17 about bringing the children to Jesus and Jesus blessing them.  We only ended up having one baby blessing yesterday, but it was good to see at least one new less active come to church. We got a lot of new investigators this week as well.  What we have been doing is instead of teaching less actives is using the less actives as fellowshippers and teaching the friends of our less actives.  Less actives feel the spirit that once blessed their lives and they also testify of the truth to their friend, they also get the benefit of the doctrine we teach.  It has worked pretty well, depends on the less active though.  We have to brief the less active beforehand and also be careful that they don't teach false doctrine.  We had one experience though that was just Golden.  We were at the house of a less active to teach and her friend came over.  Our less active invited her friend to come and listen to the missionaries.  We taught a good lesson and then guess what.  We didn't invite her to come to church.  Our less active fellowshipper beat us to it.  She invited he friend to come to church with her.  Just Golden.  Get a less active and an investigator to come to church.  Essentially we do our investigator finding through less actives.  

     We found another investigator couple this week that is just great.  They are cousins of a less active and happened to be there when we went over.  The only problem with them is they don't live in our area.  They were very receptive, but when we asked if we could go to their house they said they'd rather be taught with their cousin at their cousins house. i.e they'd rather be taught in our area, but we can't actually baptize them in our area.  We are thinking of going on exchanges with the Zone leaders for the next appointment so they can meet the missionaries in their area.  They want to learn more but I think don't like the idea of being taught by a new and different missionary.  We live with the Zone leaders so we might make it happen. 
      I also found out that a lot of names in our area book are wrong.  Missionaries just wrote what they heard and wrote a lot wrong.  For less actives I just took a ward directory and corrected them, for investigators I just had to ask them all what their names were again.  There is not a less active named Mom.  That name was misheard.  
Anyway a lot more happened but if I were to write it all I wouldn't have any stories to tell later.

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

August 27th, 2012

A lot of good things happened this week.   
     First one fairly random thing; whenever we give out pamphlets we write our names and phone number on the back.  We tell them if they can't make their appointment they can text us, or if they have questions about the pamphlet or anything else.  Until this week no one has ever texted us.  This week we got a text.  It said not to come back, but it was the first I've received after giving out just a pamphlet.  That was kind of exciting. (Of course the text is the exciting part not the rejection.)  For another first this week I confiscated a cigarette from an investigator. We showed up to an investigators house for an appointment and our investigator was holding a cigarette, he hadn't started smoking it, but he was holding it.  I asked him to give it to me, he did, and then we talked about how his following of the Word of Wisdom was going. (pretty good actually, no more coffee and alcohol and a lot less cigarettes.) That is the first cigarette I've ever confiscated from an investigator so I was somewhat happy with that. That investigator is a really great person too.  
     This week we got some Zone training from our Zone leaders and they also gave Zone goals.  I was pleased to see that we already meet the bar that the Zone leaders set for our Zone right now.  One thing they focused was on investigator work.  Because we focus with less actives sometimes missionaries stop teaching investigators all together.  When I got to this area it was kind of like that, but when the less active focus began President Jensen set a standard of about 3:2 less active to investigator lessons.  Of course if those less actives are part members then you have investigators there as well.  So when I got to this area one of the first things I did was up the investigator lessons just a little bit and gave out baptismal invitations.  Well that is exactly what the Zone leaders told the Zone. They said we needed to continue to teach and find and baptize investigators as well as teach less actives.  I was pleased.
      My favorite happening this week was a man named Alex.  We were walking down the street, and we were late to an appointment.  As we were walking we saw a man sitting outside of his gate playing with a puppy. (For mom the puppy was about 9 weeks and was a golden retriever.)  When I saw the guy I immediately  thought that he needed the gospel.  I was so impressed that I needed to talk to him that I as I was talking to Elder Sagayno I crossed the street immediately to go speak with Alex.  We found out that Alex is quite religious and prays all the time.  He told us that he has been praying for God to help him answer his questions for a long time now. He doesn't have a religion but believes in God.  He is also a very nice person.   We talked with him for some time and left him with a Book of Mormon.  Now his house can only be accessed through the gate which he said is never open and that he is inside the house whenever he is home.  The chances that he is outside that gate at any given time are so very very small.  We were very lucky to have found him at that exact time, if you can call it luck.  He prayed us there.  He may not know it, but he prayed us there.  You may wonder what happened to our appointment that we were already late for; that guy was drunk, and had been for some time according to the neighbors.  We couldn't teach there anyway.  Never delay acting on a prompting from the Spirit.  Even when it just doesn't make the most sense.   
So those are the major happenings right now.  

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                             Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

August 20st, 2012

     Did I say last week that I would not be playing the Piano in Lingayen 2 ward?  Well I spoke too soon.  Guess who played the piano yesterday.  I did.  The piano player was late or something, I don't really know, but the Bishop asked at about 8:59 if I knew how to play the piano, so I did.  I could also mention here that at 8:58 the Bishop asked me to give a talk in Sacrament meeting.  So with my added Piano task I had no time at all to prepare my talk.  I thought I gave a pretty good talk,   I didn't have scriptures in Tagalog with me at the pulpit so I would just open up my English scripture read it in English and then explain it in Tagalog.  I am very able to that it really wasn't even hard.  I just think back to my first talk where the entire talk was very scripted and I read it off of a paper.  It's something that I don't think about very often but every once and a while I just kind of step back and think, 'I don't have to try to speak Tagalog anymore, it just comes'.   I don't know if I ever mentioned it but I am reading the Book of Mormon in Tagalog right now.  The original goal was to finish it on my mission, but I am set right now to finish before the new year. 
      Yesterday we taught the Sison family.  They are very nice, they read the Book of Mormon, but they just don't come to church.  We taught a lesson about obedience and after the lesson Sister Sison said in one of the most determined ways I've heard that she was going to church next Sunday.  She said if she goes alone, or even if there is flooding to her waist she will be going to church on Sunday.  That's a very good thing, and it's something that we as missionaries love to hear.  (Also I would point out you will not likely ever be required to wade through waist deep water to go to church.)   This week we found 2 great less active families. One we found using the ward directory and just looking for names of members.  They are so nice.  They came upon problems when they were recently baptized and stopped going to church years ago, but they are really nice and don't have anything against the church or our teaching them.  The other family we found on the street when we were walking.  We started talking to this old lady and she said her son went on a mission.   We talked to her some more and found that she had 2 returned missionary sons and 8 other children, all of whom are members.  Then she invited us to come to her house to look at pictures of their family back when they used to go to church.  We didn't meet all of the family members at that time, but those who were home were very nice and very willing to listen to our message.  They have great potential and I can see high chances of their returning to church.   We don't have very many investigators here, mostly we are teaching less actives, but we have one investigator named Meryll.  That's my name too, well different spelling and it's their first name, but that doesn't really matter.    
         So random other story; I had a guy quote the pharisees to me.  He didn't mean to, he was actually just telling me why I was wrong.  What he didn't realize is that what I said mirrored something Jesus said and his response was the Pharisee response to Jesus.  He wasn't the focus of our lesson, he was just there, but the person who we were really teach caught the reference.  They noticed that his response was the pharisee response.  He was taken aback somewhat.   It is actually interesting how sometimes people will say things contrary to us, after we quote Bible scriptures or teach a principle clearly taught in the Bible.  I've had people tell me things like Moses was not a prophet, or Jesus did not establish a church or other truths found in the Bible.  
   Anyway, I still don't know everyone in this area but it is a good place.  It is way smaller than my other areas.  I think it is one of the smallest areas.  The city has three wards.  Most of the city going to ward 1, 29 barangays I think.  We have 5 barangays.  It's fun.
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                             Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

August 14th, 2012

Well guess what!     I transferred this week.  I believe I said I probably would.  I now am in Lingayen 2nd ward.   My companion right now is Elder Sagayno from Manila.
I included some pictures of investigators in Pozorrubio as well as some pictures of Lingayen. ( A really cool family in Pozorrubio that is so so so golden)

So here is the funny thing about this transfer.  My buddy Elder Harrison was in the MTC with me, and we got to the Philippines at the same time.  Then we were both assigned in the city of Agoo.  We both transferred out at the same time and went to our separate areas, then we both found out we were training at the same time.
We both just finished training and were transferring again this transfer, and it just so happens that we both are follow up training each others trainees. We just switched areas.  We have essentially had the same mission for the first year.  We have had the same areas, but in different orders, and we have had at least some of the same companions in those areas.  So thats pretty cool.

     A good way to describe Lingayen would be Flooded.  It is right next to the ocean, and so if it rains a lot it is flooded fast. However did you saw the plus in that sentence? Next to the ocean.  We have a beach in the area.  I walked on the beach the other day.  I saw the ocean.  There are some people we teach that live right on the beach, it's pretty cool.  But, it does get really flooded if it rains.  My first night I found myself walking through water up to my calf.  Up to my calf.  We were walking in the middle of a road.  Why is the water that deep?  That's nothing they say.  We will see.  Hopefully I'll send pictures sometime of me walking through this water.  I have met some of the people in this ward, it is super organized.  I don't play the Piano anymore, this ward has a piano player.  The Bishop is pretty young as well, well not that young but he looks young. The chapel is also really nice. (probably because it's a stake center.)  Lingayen happens to be the capital of Pangasinan, the state capital building is pretty close to the chapel.

    I met one family that has an English speaking child.  She speaks English.  She decided that when she was young she wanted to learn English so she always read English books and watched English movies.  Now she speaks English, she also loves to read.  Probably could be Elizabeth's best friend. We have a lot of peole to teach so I expect good things here.

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                          Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

August 6th, 2012

This was a good week.
     We met some of the nicest less actives this week.  These very
nice less active members very nicely told us they were not coming back
to church, but that if we wanted we could have dinner at their house.
Win-lose there but I think they can come back, we just need to find
out more about some of their concerns so we can help them resolve
them.  Besides that most of the people we taught this week actually
came to church.  There was actually one less active that we ran into
this week, and then he came to church.  We asked him directions one
day and he walked us to a house.  As we were walking we found out he
was a former member and invited him to church.  After a brief
interaction like that I didn't honestly expect him to come to church,
but then on sunday as we were waiting for people up he came. We ended
up with a very large number at church and quite a few of less actives
and investigators.
    This week one of our investigator families asked us if we could
give them longer reading assignments.  We usually give them a reading
assignment of a chapter or so to read before our next visit.  Then
they asked us if we could give them longer reading assignments so they
have more to read.  Yup, they love the Book of Mormon.  Yeah, they are
very excited to be baptized and I am excited to have the opportunity
of teaching them.  Another great less active family told us they never
want to miss church again.  The work moves forward.

          I would say their is a very good chance I will be
transferred this week.  Transfer day is coming up and I have been here
longer than Elder De Jesus.  This is a great area with great people,
but I shall probably be moving on.

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.

Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

July 30th, 2012

Hello again.  I have had a good week here.  I talked to Sister Idos and she gave me the stuff you sent with her.  It was fun, she showed me pictures of you guys in Utah as well.  How tall is Jonathan?  He is definitely taller. 
   You know how sometimes people say you will find people that have been prepared by the Lord, while we found some this week.  We met a new investigator and started teaching him and his wife the first lesson his wife wasn't present, but in the next lesson we quickly learned that she had been taught before.  Actually her entire family are members, they just went less active and so she was never baptized.  She knows most all of the basic things we teach.  We started teaching and they picked up very quickly.  After we challenged them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon they came back and told us about their experience.  They said they felt a feeling that was hard to describe and told us it was the Spirit.  We challenged them to come to church and they did...they were 40 minutes early church because they didn't want to be late.  Wow they are doing so good.  They readily as well have accepted the Word of Wisdom.  They are pretty much my favorite thing that has happened this week.   We have another great family too right now.  A less active family that we've been working with.  This family is just so fun.  They have been coming to church for awhile now and we continue to visit them.  We just have so many people coming back to church right now. 
       It seems to me there are 4 religions we deal with in the Philippines; Catholic, Born Again, Iglesia ni Cristo, and the Jehovah's witnesses.  I haven't dealt much so far with Igelsia or the witnesses, but this week we ran into a lot of Witnesses.  We had an investigator get attacked by the Witnesses and was very confused asking us a lot of questions.  (Funny enough the Witnesses attacked our church for believing that God and Jesus Christ were one being, we reminded our investigator of Joseph Smiths vision and showed a picture that clearly shows 2 beings talking to Joseph.)  Besides that we seemed to meet Witnesses everywhere.  I got very good at my Bible scriptures as learned how to very quickly and effectively answer all their questions.  We got pretty good at talking to them and getting them to the point where they were asking us questions (as opposed to questioning our message).  It was an interesting experience, they seemed to want very much to "Bible Bash".  But we avoided 'bashing'.  
      It rained again this week.  Every day.  That is just the way things are.  It will rain... you will get wet.  Even if you have the biggest umbrella, when it is raining hard with a harsh wind you get wet.  Nothing we can't handle though.  Thanks again for the stuff you sent with Sister Idos.
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

July 23rd, 2012

     Last week I think I mentioned that I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting.  Well it was so good that I was asked to give a talk again... well actually no, I don't know why I was asked to give a talk again but I did give a talk again this week.  It makes me at least feel like the Bishop trusts me, which is a good thing.  
    So this week it rained a lot.  Rain isn't bad, not really, the only problem is that it makes it a little bit harder for investigators and less actives to keep certain commitments.  Yesterday at church not too many people came, there was one person who has just barely returned from Manila and he said to me 'Elder you must be working hard there are a lot of people here'  I responded our numbers were low today and he said' yeah but it's raining, no one comes to church when it rains.'  When it rains on Sunday the numbers apparently drop.  For the most part only people who live really close to church and the really active members came yesterday.  It is a little difficult for less actives who haven't come regularly in years or investigators who've only come once to come when there is heavy rain.  It's all right though although we had only a few the ones who are really progressing came, and it also helps us see some of the people who need to strengthen their faith.  
      This week we worked a lot in an area called Imbalbalatong.  I have seen so many people in this barangay ready to accept the gospel, there is only one problem; one side of the street is ours, the other side is the other wards.  We talk to people on the street, give them pamphlets or Books of Mormon, make a return appointment, and then when we go to their house we realize they belong in the other ward. When we talk to people or ask referrals, 50% are in our area, and 50% in the other.  It's hard, because every lesson we teach there is a good lesson.  Everyone that I've met there has been receptive, the only problem is after half our first lessons we go tell the other Elders we have a referral for them.  The work is really good there.  We ended up going to almost the very end of the street and we found a whole compound of people who were willing to listen to us.  I think we will start going there a little more often and we will see what will happen. 

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                             Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

July 16th, 2012

    Well we have had an interesting week this week.  Our week started rather slow, we were not having very many lessons or meeting receptive people.  On Tuesday after not having a single lesson in the day we were heading home and some kid yelled something.  I though he was talking to us, but he wasn't, but when we approached he said 'I'll go tell my sister the missionaries are here.'  We found a former investigator family that has been taught before.  They were very receptive towards us and already knew a lot about the restoration. 

      This week we found a few new less actives here in Pozorrubio.  We found a lady that has been less active for more than 20 years.  She was super nice, but she super didn't want to come back to church.  It's harder when the people are nice but don't accept you.  Sometimes when somebody is mean you find it hard to love them, hard to care for them, you walk away and might think "boy that guy was mean.'  But when people are so nice it's sad.  It is so easy to feel for them, you know that they are making a horrible choice by turning you away, but there isn't much you can do.  The thought is more like "boy, she is nice, I really don't want her to go to hell."  We have some investigators and less actives that are very nice people, but they just don't accept the message, it is so very sad.  
      We had one investigator family that is very nice, they are also receptive, and they also recently moved so we are not teaching them anymore.  Their move came somewhat suddenly, suddenly enough that they thought they weren't going to be able to tell us before they moved.  What happened was they were talking with a member and they were in tears, because they thought they were going to move before seeing the missionaries again.  We were informed that if we had time we should visit the family, so we did, and we found out they were moving and taught a last lesson there.  We later found out from the member how excited our investigators were that we came again and how sad they had been when they thought we weren't coming.  We are going to have to refer them to missionaries in their new location. (Very far away from here.)  
       In church yesterday I gave a talk, the other speaker went long so the Bishop told me I only had 5 minutes.  So I gave a very shortened condensed talk, it was alright.  The real news from sacrament meeting though was from other talks.  One of the other speakers spoke on the Law of Chastity, they gave a very fine talk, our only problem was we received a lot of questions from investigators after that.  Most of them thought the Law of Chastity was just a good suggestion.  We had to teach the Law of Chastity a lot more times than we expected on Sunday.  Overall it was good.  

     Do you know what I miss most?  I want to go to the Temple!!!!!
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                             Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

July 9th, 2012

    This week has been a rather good week.   First off, we met President Monahan this week.  He is really great, he is really smart too ( he is a lawyer).  We went to our district meeting on Tuesday in Urdaneta and afterwards I went to pick something up from the mission office, and there was President Monahan.  We talked with him for a little bit, he is trying to learn Tagalog.  He said that Elder Oaks blessed him before his mission that he would be able to learn Tagalog.  
     The next day, Wednesday, we had a meet the President conference in which our entire Zone as well as 2 other zones came to Urdaneta for a quick zone conference.  President Monahan spoke and taught us about the Gospel.  He talked a lot about obedience and prayer.  It was really good, we are really glad to have him here.  He is really good at the scriptures.  He knows and can quote a lot of scriptures.  He also mentioned that sometimes he will come work with the missionaries for teaching appointments. He didn't say just Zone leaders or District leaders, but all the missionaries, so he may come work with us sometime.  That will be fun.  

This week I have seen a lot of part member families making progress.  There are several families in particular that I was told that the nonmember was very unreceptive.  In each case we went to the house, spoke with the nonmember and asked them to join with us for our short lesson.  Every time the nonmember joined with us and as far as we saw was receptive.  Of course it is only one visit, but in each case I was told these people wouldn't even face the missionaries or join in discussion.   So far, every time we have gotten return appointments and it is looking as if we will have the chance to complete some of these part member families. Sometimes the part member family is only part member because the missionaries didn't focus much on the family and left one member behind, not so much because that person is unreceptive.  

This letter is really short this week, I have a lot of things I am trying to do today.  

July 2nd 2012

          So we had a good week this week.  Especially with our church attendance.  Sometimes although we teach a lot we don't see much from Sunday attendance.  This week we had 20 people we were teaching come to church.  There was one man who works on Sunday and told us he absolutely cannot take of work, ever.  We taught him a lesson a few days ago about the importance to obey all of God's commandments.  After our lesson we asked if he was going to attend church and he sat still for about 90 seconds.  After saying nothing for more than a minute he finally answered that he would come to church, and he did.  It was a really good to see him able to come to church.  I also had the opportunity of teaching a young family. A family with a very active 6 and 4 year old.  We were given the challenge of entertaining two children by our lesson and also making it relevant for the Adults present.  We essentially told Book of Mormon Stories and then applied it to their lives.  I would say we were successful because they came to church yesterday.  All in all it was good. 
      This week was slightly sad because one of our investigators moved this week.  We found out they were moving last Wednesday because we taught them a lesson that day.  They asked if we could come back before Sunday because they were moving on Sunday.  It was very sad because they were so receptive and nice.  We went back one last time on Saturday, and they cooked us dinner, yes they are very nice.  On Saturday we taught them about the importance of prayer and scripture study and told them to talk to missionaries in their new location (which is very far away... in a different mission)  we also decided we are going to send a referral to the missionaries there to go and teach.  I feel very good about them though.  From what we've taught and how they've been keeping their commitments I feel that they have a good chance of being brought to the church in their new location, but it still saddens me to see them go.  I very much hope they find the missionaries, or the missionaries find them.  
        My companion, Elder De Jesus, is from Manila.  A member from our ward recently went to Manila and happened to find Elder De Jesus's mom.  So he brought back stuff for Elder De Jesus, and me from Elder's mom.  Dessert.  He also told me pretty much everything that Elder De Jesus's mom wants Elder De Jesus's trainer to know.  I was also said that Elder De Jesus's trainer is a good cook.  That was fun to hear.  
         We have a new mission President now.  I haven't met him, but I know he is here and that President Jensen is gone.  Our new mission President is President Monahan.  

Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill