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, 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