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, March 31, 2013

Transfer to Sta. Maria

   After only 9 weeks in Mapandan, I got transferred.  Kind of surprising but I got moved last Friday.  I am following up training again in Sta. Maria(that's is Santa not sta, but Sta. Maria is the real spelling), my companion is Elder Mortel from the philippines.   I took pictures but I left my camera at the apartment so I can't send them right now.  I am going more than one year now with only Filipino companions and I am going to go one year that every companion of mine is in their 1st area.  
       It is kind of a weird arrangement here, there is a ward and a group.  There are 4 Elders assigned to Sta. Maria ward, and then 2 of us are also assigned to Pataquid group.  So our area is a ward and a group, but there is another companionship to help us in the ward.   I gave a testimony in the Sta. Maria ward, and then in the Pataquid group I gave the opening prayer for sunday school, taught the lesson for priesthood, and gave a talk in Sacrament meeting.  In the group we had Sacrament meeting outside under a tree, the group leader is so cool.  The teaching we heard in the group was amazing.  My companion and I basically function as the councilors for the group leader but it is fun.
         I've already had a good time here in Sta. Maria with my companion.  On the first day we went teaching and found ourselves at the house of an old man.  I was a step behind my companion coming to the door and I didn't hear what the old man said, it turned out he said he was ready to be done being taught by the missionaries.  Well I, not hearing that, stepped up and asked if we could come inside and share a message with him.  We got in the house and started our lesson, I didn't know the situation but I felt inspired to change our lesson and share about charity in Moroni 7.  We shared a few scriptures in Moroni and talked to him about charity for a few minutes.  It was a great lesson and when we finished my companion said that my scripture was the perfect choice, he was surprised because I hadn't heard what the man said when we got to the door.  It's the Spirit.  To top  it off, the man came to church on Sunday.  That is what I like to see.  All in all it has been a good week.  It seems like forever ago I was in Mapandan but it was in reality only a few days ago.  Even though it was a surprising transfer I like my new area.

Monday, March 25, 2013

This week I found out that one person I baptized in Pozorrubio is planning on going on a mission.  I also found out that she was recently called as Young Women's President.  It's exciting to learn of the progress of recent converts.  I also got to work a day with my old companion and trainee Elder De Jesus.  It was really fun because I can see how much he has grown as  a missionary.  
       This week President Mortenson attended our district training.  It was really fun, but when I learned about it I was just a little intimidated.  I realized I would just have to do what I had planned to do and it turned out to be great.  Afterwards he gave us a presentation about how the Mapandan and Mangaldan districts are doing with their goals.  He gave us a lot of help. (President Mortenson is the first councilor in the mission presidency and is amazing.)
       My companion, Elder Marafina, has holes in his shoes right now.  He isn't very happy about having holes in shoes but is dealing with it until P-day (today).   Well if you have holes in your shoes it isn't very fun to walk in water.  Yesterday as we were leaving the apartment the clouds were very dark and it very much looked like it was going to rain.  We prayed that it would not rain and then took our umbrellas with us as we went to work.  Well the clouds remained dark and we had a great day.  We got home at night said a prayer and started our nightly planning and then it started to rain.  So my companion didn't have to deal with  walking through water because it didn't rain while we were walking.  We also had a little 8 year old girl pray at the end of one lesson and she prayed for God to keep the missionaries (us) safe from biting dogs.  I am happy to report no one here has been bitten by dogs recently.  Little kids give great prayers.  
        Right now we have 2 children who are investigators.  We have Jeffrey (10) and Olivia (9) in 2 different part member families.  It is an interesting experience teaching to children.  Sometimes you think they don't understand or won't understand what they need to but they seem to get just as easily as anyone else.  We thought Olivia didn't pay very much attention, but on our return visit she had a notebook and I noticed inside she had written all the scriptures we had shared to her as well as the word of wisdom.  They are both very intelligent children.  Jeffrey loves to make jokes.  No lesson is boring.  He says very funny things but at the same time is neither rude nor vulgar.  It is fairly exciting to be teaching those 2 part member families.  We have another less active family with 7 children.  The Parayno family came to church for the first time yesterday with their children.  We were so excited to see them, it was also fun to see that they took up an entire row in Sacrament meeting.  
           We are doing well in Mapandan right now.  

                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

                                                                         Philippines Baguio Mission

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So this week had some interesting things happen.    One is that we met a less active named Pedro and learned that he had been hit by a grenade.  He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and a grenade exploded in front of him.  Strange enough you can't even tell.  He barely even got hurt.
  We met another less active named Nida.  She was really nice and it seemed like she would definitely be coming back to church.  Well it turns out she is under house arrest and cannot leave or she will get a 2000 peso fine.  It's sad because she seemed really excited when we went over.  Not everything that happened was that weird though.  We have one returning member named Liza and she has come to church 5 times now.  She is just a great find because she started coming to church immediately and has kept coming.  Now she is interested to go the temple in May with the ward.  We also extended a baptism date for her daughter this week, who is 9, on April 6th.  Sister Liza knew that April 6 was the day the church was founded and was excited for that day for her daughter.
 We also have a family we are teaching right now with a lot of little kids so we wanted to make it fun for them.  For our lesson we did a scripture chase.  Each child had a Book of Mormon and we would tell them a page number, the first child to find the page number reads the scripture for that page (all the scriptures were about going to church) and the child also gets a point.  Whoever has the most points at the end gets to say the closing prayer.  They were super excited about this, even though none of them are very good at reading.  Well after the game they understood a lot more about going to church, it was pretty successful.  I don't know very many situations where you can make the prizes for a game reading a scripture and saying a prayer but they enjoyed it a lot.
   I think I mentioned that we walk a lot in Mapandan, I think we broke the daily record this week.  We started from our home and walked all the way to one end of our area.  We had an appointment out there and when we were just getting close to the house we saw them leave.  We talked to the people in that area, and we did meet some nice people, but didn't get to teach.  We had planned to take a tryke to our next appointment, but due to our misfortune there were none to be had which meant we walked literally to the other end of our area.  I don't think you can walk very much farther in one day in Mapandan than we did that day.  That day we also saw a giant mango tree.  I took a picture.  In the background is a 2 story building.  We also got a referral the next day and we were told the person lives near the giant mango tree so it was good we found the tree because now we can go teach someone that lives over there.


                                                                          Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill
                                                                        Philippines Baguio Mission

March 10th, 2013

This week went well.  We worked this week with the Senior Couple missionaries Elder and Sister Dinkel.  They took pictures and said they'd post them on their blog.  I think it is Bradvalarie.blogspot.com  You can go look at that if you'd like.  I went on exchanges twice this week and in those 2 days I got 18 lessons taught.  It was 2 super productive days and it was really fun to have those days on exchanges as well. 

umm.... I have no time left....Sorry


                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill
                                                                         Philippines Baguio Mission

Monday, March 4, 2013

There is one interesting scripture that I really liked that I read this week.  It is Mormon 4:8.  The reason it is interesting is because it says that the Nephites went forth 'in their own might''. Now compare that to the many times in the Book of Mormon where they went forth 'In the strength of the Lord'.  We sometimes find ourselves living our lives in our own might relying on our own strength.  There isn't any reason to, we can always go forth in the strength of the Lord if we are humble enough to accept it and of course ask seek and knock.
      This week went well.  Yesterday we passed a huge house.  One of those houses that you walk by and just know those people are rich.  We weren't going anywhere so I told my companion lets go there... he thought I was joking.  Well we started to walk toward this house that has a huge driveway, where they can see you coming from what seems like a mile away, and as we walked up there seemed to be no one there.  Right as we got up to their porch area someone came out and I (having nothing better to say I guess) said 'We are missionaries and would like to share a message to about Jesus Christ' (That is my first 'door approach'.  I talk to everyone I meet on the street but I haven't ever  gone 'tracting'  It's different talking to people on the street) Well he looked surprised but said that was fine.  We taught a short lesson to a young couple on that porch about the Atonement and they just loved it.  At the end of the lesson they went inside and asked us to wait a moment for their return. Upon their return they offered us money and thanked us for teaching them about Jesus.  They were even more shocked when we didn't accept their money but told them all we wanted was to sincerely help them.  It was fun.  I am excited as well to go back to that big house to teach again.  
   I found out this week that one of the investigator families in Lingayen was baptized.  This is what I said about finding that family    We have an area in Lingayen that I don't really like to go to.  We have very few people progressing over there and it is far away.  We were down to only one family over there that was really listening at all and we were going to go visit them.  They weren't home, and then we dropped by 3 or 4 other people we knew in that area who also were not home.  We were walking with still an hour and a half before our next appointment and I was thinking that if we didn't find someone to teach right now, I would probably never come back to this part of the area.  There seemed no reason to ever come back as it is the least productive area.  Well we saw a group of people and decided to talk to them.  We started talking to them and they all ran away except 2.  They turned out to be great.  We taught this investigator and she agreed with everything, then she gave her opinions and insights that were exactly right.  We taught about the Book of Mormon and she got it immediately.  She said ' Oh so the Bible has 2 testaments the New and the Old and the Book of Mormon is the 3rd'. Then she started reading the Book of Mormon.  When we went back she said she only read a little bit and then proceeded to give the summary of the entire section we left for her, and then read to us some of her favorite verses, which I would mention were near the end of her reading.  She prayed about it and said she's knows it's true.  That is just a great story.
  What I didn't mention there is that I was actually praying very hard and saying to God if there is anyone here that needs to be taught help us find them now or else I am never coming back to this area.  And of course the prayer would have been worthless if I hadn't opened my mouth to talk to the mother of what became an amazing investigator family.  

    This week we delayed another religions prayer meeting.  We met a nice woman on the street who agreed to let us teach her, but said that there would be a gathering at her house soon for a prayer meeting.  We  started teaching her at 3:30, the prayer meeting was supposed to start at 3:30.  As they weren't there yet we decided to go ahead and teach, but to make sure we taught a 'short and powerful' lesson.  As we were teaching the rest of the prayer meeting arrived, but unlike my expectations they didn't come and start talking to us or try to stop us.  Rather when they saw us they stopped about 50 meters away from the house and just stood there.  When we saw them standing there we were nearly finished so we finished up.  They didn't even approach the house until we had reached the point where they were standing.  I thought it was amusing.  Cristina, the person we taught, even invited us back to her home, next time we will probably avoid going at the time of the prayer meeting.  
   We are doing pretty good here in Mapandan.

                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill
                                                                         Philippines Baguio Mission

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This week was good.  We found ourselves in Sta. Barbara this week.  Sta. Barbara is the next city over and is not even in our zone.  We were walking through fields looking for houses of less actives whose names we had in our directory.  We met a new person and introduced ourselves as the new missionaries in Mapandan.  He looked at us and said 'Mapandan!? this isn't Mapandan you're in Sta. Barbara'  So now we know exactly where the edge of our area is.  There are 5 areas that we border here;  Manaoag, Mangaldan, Sta. Barbara, San Jacinto and Urdaneta.  I have been to the edge of 3 of those five as of now.  I have walked into Manaoag, Mangaldan and Sta Barbara.  
Did I ever mention we walk a lot?  
     This week we prayed that we would be able to find a family to teach.  We have a lot of people we are teaching but they were either individuals or part member families.  We wanted to find an investigator family to teach. So while we were talking to everyone we met we saw very little results of any kind, people in Mapandan don't seem to care very much about religion, but we kept going.  We ended up teaching a part member family this week and while we were teaching their neighbor came over.  The neighbor's name is Alma and was quite interested in what we had to say.   We made a return appointment at their home and upon our return met the whole family.  It turns out that they are super receptive and looking for ways to help their children.  We taught the first lesson and extended the invitation to be baptized.  The second lesson over there we focused on how they can know and then gave them a baptismal date.  They accepted this invitation.
       This week we also taught a less active with a health problem.  I don't really know what the problem is but it is very problematic.  We explained very clearly about faith and that it means that we don't know what will happen, but as we trust God things will work out.  I told the Branch President that this Brother was going to come to church, no one really believed me.. but guess what he came. And he was the first one there.  He got there before the building was unlocked and waited for us to arrive.  Faith wins again.
    It has been a pretty fun week.  

                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill
                                                                         Philippines Baguio Mission

Monday, February 18, 2013

Philippines Baguio Mission - soon to split

=)President Monahan says hello. He also says that he misses Orem, he lived there for a short time.  
Our internet connection is really bad.  Really bad.  Sorry
We had a good week though.   Yesterday we had inspired planning.  We were sitting in the home of a less active member and the Stake Young Woman President walk in.  She had with her the SA rep from our branch and her secretary.  When they came we started our lesson and taught with them.  After that lesson they asked us where we were headed and when we told them they said that was exactly where they were going.  So because of our inspired planning we taught 2 lessons with our Young Womens District President.  It was pretty fun.  
     We also found quite a few people to teach this week.  We found a lot of less actives that we didn't know yet and also a lot of investigators.  We went to one house that we had on a list and talked to the member who lived there.  She told us she got back only one week ago from Oman.  She has been abroad for almost 2 years and we showed up right when she got back.  We also found another member and felt inspired to teach about temples.  We started the lesson and then asked what she knew about temples. It turns out she is endowed she then talked for the next 20 minutes about how she used to go to the temple and about how she wants to go back.  She committed herself that she needed to get back to church and get back to the temple.  We literally didn't do any teaching.  We just started the lesson and she did the rest.  That was a Spirtualy inspired topic for our meeting that day. We contacted another less active who had surgery last month.  No one in the branch and come to visit her until us.  We tried to find one less active in the branch but when we came to his home he wasn't there.  We met a few of his cousins and we taught them.  One of them was really attentive the whole lesson.  When we pulled out a pamphlet she eagerly grabbed it.  She accepted the invitation to be baptized in that very lesson and told us when to come back to meet her husband so we can teach them both.    We have essentially been finding every name on the branch directory and talking to everyone and it is working out pretty good so far.  We also got every member in the Elders Quorum last Sunday to sign up for a day to come with us.  The next 2 weeks we always have fellow shippers.  Even the District President is going to work with us. In short, we are doing alright

                    Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Monday, February 4, 2013

    Mapandan is not an area for wimpy missionaries.  I think I may have earned the hiking merit badge this week, or at least the walking merit badge. After the end of each day it feels like all we did was walk from place to place, but then as we review the day it's like 'oh we also taught 6 lessons today.'  We get a lot of lessons in but we sure do walk a lot.  There has been more than one occasion where we walked for an hour.  It's a fun area though.  It is really good, you just walk a lot.

    We had a baptism last Saturday as well, that was an adventure.  We went to the branch president's house on Friday to talk with him and when we got there he told us that the pump for the font was broken which meant we couldn't fill the font.  We asked him what we could do and he suggested we go to Manaoag.  So I texted the Manaoag sisters hoping they would be able to help us and just in time.  They were at the church talking to their branch president when I texted.  They later told me that their branch president is pretty hard to get a hold of.  They got the key filled up the font and unlocked the church for us.  Saturday morning we met at our chapel in Mapandan, then we all got into tricycles and rode to Manaoag for our baptism.  It went smoothly after that.   It was kind of fun.  Manaoag has an enormous catholic church as well and tons of people go to see "Our Lady of Manaoag" shrine.
    I don't have much time right now, but thanks for the 2x4 plan.  We found one awesome investigator this week.  He recently married a member and moved in with the family.  He was entered a lot of different churches in his life and started asking us some really good questions.  We have only taught him once so far but that was the most spiritual lesson I've had so far in this area.  I am excited.
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                          Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Monday, January 28, 2013

I think the computer shop we are in is run by a member.  They are playing EFY music and have New Era posters on the wall.    
     Here is what President Monahan told me about transfers. "Your new area will present challenges and blessings. You will find that your new companion is surprisingly talented and humble. You will be able to help and learn from other. The branch needs a lot of help and that is where the Lord needs your talent in working with members!"
I am now in Mapandan branch in Mapandan district. I am in Mangaldan zone and Elder De Jesus is in the zone as well.   I am follow up training again and my companion is Elder Marafina. I suspect I might train again next transfer because I've trained a lot and there are over 40 missionaries coming in next transfer.  (all the 18 year old  Elders and 19 year old Sisters.)  So I am back down to a branch and I am also in a very small zone.
    Back in Lingayen, to finish this week before I transfered we had another baptism. Reymon got baptized and he has expressed desire to serve a mission.  He was baptized by one of his good friends in the ward it was great.  I won't see his confirmation though. I had a good last week in Lingayen we got a lot of lessons right up to the end.  We also had a dinner appointment with the Relief Society President where we talked about all the needs of the ward.  The Relief Society in Lingayen is great.  
     Here in Mapandan we had a baptism interview right away.  I got there Friday and we had a candidate interviewed on Saturday.  This is the first time I've come into an area and had a baptism right away.  This will also be the 2nd baptism of someone I didn't find.  Mapandan is my biggest area.  There isn't much besides fields.  It is only a branch but covers a larger area than I've had before.  It also seems to have the least transportation.  We don't see as many Tricycles going by.  On Saturday we took a 'shortcut' that my companion said takes about a kilometer off of our walk,  then we proceeded to walk for about 40 minutes.  There is a lot of walking.  It is a good little branch though.  The Elder I replaced has been really sick though.  He had a parasite and they didn't work for the last 2 weeks.  Everyone we go to seems to ask "Why haven't you come by for so long?"  which is a little tough.  Because of that we don't have very many solid appointments.  We do have some great investigators though.  We have one 'eternal' investigator.  She has been an investigator for 4 years but now she actually has a baptismal date and is doing very very well.  We also have one as I mentioned being baptized on Saturday.  
My companion is also very good as well.  Elder Marafina is only in his first area but I am very impressed with him.  Every companion I've had for 9 months has been in their first area.  I don't know the entire area yet or all the members and investigators but it does look to be a very good next few months here.  
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Monday, January 21, 2013

I am almost definitely going to be transferred this week.  Why?  Well my companion Elder Sta.Ana, who if you remember is my trainee, is training next transfer!!!  So my trainee is training which means I shall leave. (Well it's never for sure but I think you can 99%)  We officially find out on Wednesday and then transfer day is Friday.  Everyone says I am going to go to a middle of nowhere area.  

     We had a baptism last Saturday.  A nine year old of a recently returned family was baptized. As we have been working with returning families now we have a lot of young investigators.   We haven't focused very much on the young kids because we are trying to help the families return, but now we counted up all the 8 year olds and older of families that are returning and we have about 7, the oldest being 12, that will probably be baptized in March.  The 8 year olds aren't convert baptisms but it is still going to be exciting to see them baptized because we helped their families return.  Those baptisms are in addition to the other investigators.  Next transfer there will be a lot of baptisms, I won't see them but I did help them get there.  We also have one more baptism before I leave.  It will be on Tuesday and one of our ward missionaries will be baptizing him.  That one will be exciting because he is 18 and has already expressed interest in serving a mission.  He will have 1 year from now, the ward missionary who is baptizing is one of his good friends and will also be serving a mission soon.

       Another exciting thing was the Young Women New Beginnings.  The reason it was exciting is because they formally welcomed our recent convert who is a young woman to the stake.  On Friday Elder Sta.Ana went with another missionary to the Train the trainers meeting with President.  I worked in my area with Elder Wilding.  Elder Wilding is fairly new but he is a pretty good missionary.  While working with him we stumbled upon the house of the mother of our Young Men's President.  She was super super nice to us, and I remember hearing the Young Men's president pray a short time ago that his family will come back to church.  Well this may be the beginning to the answer to that prayer.  With Elder Wilding we also taught one of our new investigators.  This was a referral from a member and is one of the most receptive people I've met.  We taught them for the second time and afterwards Elder Wilding was amazed to find out that was only the second lesson to them.  I have high hopes for all of our investigator families right now.  There is a lot of potential in this area... The area that I am leaving... but it is still way exciting because people will be being baptized.  Last Year in LIngayen 2 ward you could count the baptisms on one hand.  This January we have 3, February there are 2 more that are very ready and then we have a lot of very progressing that I believe will also be baptized.  It is exciting to see an area that is progressing so well even though I am on the way out.
          One of these is at the top of the Pangasinan state capitol building.  We just walked up to the top.  We walked past 4 guards and none of them cared at all.  There is also a baptism here.  There is also a cool investigator family.

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

Monday, January 14, 2013

As to Dad's inquiry I am still in Lingayen, although probably not for much longer.  I was also interested to hear about MacArthur coming to Lingayen.  I knew that he came but didn't know when.  Here in Lingayen the 'fiesta ng dagat' is in January.  The ocean festival completely covers up anything about MacArthur's landing and I haven't heard it mentioned.  
     This week I got to work in Labrador.  Since my stay in LIngayen this is the first time I have actually left Lingayen for work.  I've worked in other areas in Lingayen but now I got to work in Labrador.  Labrador is a very beautiful area and I worked with Elder Daplin, a very new missionary.  The one thing about Labrador is that it is easy to talk with everyone, or Preach by the way.  In Lingayen as you walk from place to place you see a hundred people or so, while you can greet everyone you wouldn't usually be able to share to every single person.  In Labrador you very much can share to every person because we only saw about 10. President Monahan recently gave the Labrador branch President an inspired promise that Labrador branch will double this year.  (Kind of like Elder Gillespie's branch that went from 11 to 22.  Labrador is looking to go from about 30 to 60)  Anyway it was a good time in Labrador.  Later in the week we split again.  On Saturday our baptism candidates were interviewed, and there was also the Philippines area broadcast.  After the interviews there wasn't very much time before the area broadcast but we all decided to work.  Because we were in our area, Elder Sta.Ana went with one missionary while I took the other and then we split up in our own area.  Essentially we had double the lessons and the interviewing missionaries had none.  But that was ok because they didn't really have time to go back to their own area anyway.  The Philippines Area broadcast was awesome as well.  The Area presidency spoke about the 2013 area goals.  
      This week was also our stake conference.  So Saturday we got to listen to the Philippines area presidency and then Sunday the Stake President and others including President Monahan.  President Monahan's talk was funny just because it was in English (actually it had maybe 10% Tagalog).  Anyway the Filipinos liked it.  I was very impressed with each talk, the stake conference was really good.  
     There was another instance this week that an investigator was having a hard time.  We knew that things were rough and I felt that we should go and give her a blessing.  Well she is progressing well and really wants to be baptized.  We went to give her the blessing and she was packing at the time.  She was called just now to go work in a diffident place.  When we got there I would like to note she had already packed her Book of Mormon.  It was nice though that we were able to give a blessing just before she left.  She will come back in about 4 months and I am sure she will be baptized although I won't be around.  She was supposed to be interviewed with our others on Saturday.  It is kind of sad but at the same time we were very happy to be able to be there in time to give her a blessing before she left.
Have a good week, keep your head up, and smile.
                                                                           Elder Nathaniel J. Merrill

Monday, January 7, 2013

I don't know what to say anymore, I feel like all my letters sound the same. But nonetheless we had a good week this week.  I've been talking a lot about how our area is blossoming and really doing well.  Last Tuesday just after our companion study President Monahan called and said he is considering splitting our area.  Then yesterday we had 29 people we were teaching come to church.  I know there are some small branches that don't even have 29 people.
    We have one person Lena we are teaching right now who has a few friends in the church.  We arranged for one of the friends to pick up the family.  (our church just switched to 1 pm BTW)  Well at about 10 am the friend texted us and told us that our investigator went to church, but not our church.  At 10 am they were at the Catholic mass.  Well that was a disappointing  we had expected them to come and I was wondering if somehow our church invitation had been confusing and that's why she went to the Catholic.  Before church we went by a few investigators to go with them, but they weren't even home which was disappointing still.  That's the point where you worry about the switch from 9 am to 1 pm and it's effect on church attendance.  Well as we walked into the church at about 10 to 1pm there sitting with a few of their friends was sister Lena and family.  They came to church.  Actually they went to church twice yesterday and they really enjoyed themselves at the true church of Jesus Christ.   Needless to say we were very happy.  The friends accompanied them to the investigator class and also took care of the children which was so very nice.
   Our awesome ward took good care of us this week as well.  We had dinner or lunch appointments every single day last week.  We taught one of our elect investigators about the word of wisdom this week.  Before we taught the lesson, we saw the coffee on the table. (not a cup of coffee but the powder)  We were a little apprehensive but we taught what we needed to.  As we talked about the WOW we started saying the things we needed to avoid and everyone was strongly agreed with, when we got to coffee she agreed again.  We were surprised, "Do you drink coffee?' we asked.  "no it's hurts my heart, I stopped drinking it years ago."  The same with tea, she told us "I would probably drink tea later tonight but now I won't be drinking any".  She only had the coffee to give away for a new years gift.  The other investigator there gave up smoking and drinking a while ago because he had a 'feeling' that he should.  Prepared by the Lord.

    Later in the week we felt we should visit a certain active member who is old and has a caretaker.  The caretaker is another active member.  We went to her house and greeted her and talked to her for a moment.  We asked where her caretaker was, and it turned out she was sick and took the day off but not without getting a replacement.  The replacement was someone we did not know but quickly found out was a Mormon before.  She told us she got baptized some time ago but hadn't been to church.  Well we knew that we had been truly inspired to go to that home.  We told her that God had inspired us to come and teach her and we were there to help her find her way back.  She came to church.
      I have a picture here of a family that has come back to church and their daughters recent baptism.

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