Monday, September 9, 2013

9/9/13..An invitation from Elder Merkley

Things are going so well!! My goodness gracious! There have definitely been hard parts, don't get me wrong but they are so very small and insignificant compared to the bright light of the amazing and beautiful times!  Pokie is where it's at!
Answers to questions/your email: I'm trying to be a little more organized so I'm going to break things down a little! Everyone we teach is our own age! They range from about 17-23! It's so crazy but so fun, amazing and I learn so many things every day! My companion, Elder Vigil is from Kansas. He is super into volleyball and wants to go into business and get his MBA. He wants to be a CEO! We are living about a minute walk outside of our area, AKA-outside of the apartment complexes that we go up and down all day ;). Also, Elder Vigil has been out 14 months! He is so awesome! I learn so much from him every day. He's also been super awesome with me learning Portuguese and willing to help me out! We walk everywhere as well and when we do need rides to dinner appointments we usually ask a member or go with other missionaries.
We work in the PYSA 2nd stake III ward. It is so amazing! Basically we spend all the day teaching less actives and non-members, all people our own age and come Sunday, we go to the YSA 5th ward. It's is always so good! I've been so blessed with an amazing ward, great people and an outstanding bishopric! Our Ward Mission Leader, Reece is also so awesome! Also, the rain truly has been crazy!
This past week, an Elder in our mission actually passed away from a car accident. We are all praying from his family and that things will be ok for them. It's just more fully built my testimony of the Plan of Salvation. :) I'm so happy that we have it and that Elder Ward's family will be able to see him again. The plan is true and we have it because God loves us so much. :) There is always a way back to him. :)
 I don't need any sweaters just yet! Thank you though! When it's not raining it's actually quite hot! Stake Conference sounds amazing and I'm glad it went so well! Also, my prayers go out to President Perrins, he truly is a wonderful example and a great man. Man oh man I miss choir! I just love Mr. Holloway and all the amazing experiences I was able to have! Sigh..... I really hope Tanner is having a wonderful time as well though!
I haven't had to eat anything too crazy either! Yesterday, I had meatloaf with oatmeal and onions in it all cooked up in zucchini though! Wow! That was an interesting experience! Also, I got to have dragon fruit. Man... that stuff rocks.
Some awesome experiences for this week!: Alright, so this past week I got to go on exchanges! It was absolutely amazing and truly a great experience. My companion for the day had been out 6 months but had only been in the area 6 days so they basically put two greenies together. Haha! But, we went forth, planned and had high hopes for the day! Basically, the day was a miracle. We had so many good experiences, got to schedule lots of appointments with less actives and met a lot of wonderful people! It was so different from being in the YSA ward too because we tracked up and down hills all day basically! But, overall, it was wonderful and we managed to get 3 new investigators, one of them we talked with for about 1 hr and 45 min about everything from the Book of Mormon, Prophets and Apostles, Temples and even a dash of Christopher Columbus in there! I learned so much and he said that he will pray and read the Book Of Mormon! I'm so excited to see where that goes! Also, that day was such a Testimony builder that the Lord truly does put people in our paths for us to teach. We had just gotten done walking up a hill and said hi to this guy in his car who was on his phone and then, as we kept walking, he called out of us and we walked back to him. basically, he told us that he needed to change. He had met with the missionaries before but when he moved to Idaho he fell back into some bad stuff but he wanted to change SO BAD. So, we got all his info, texted the Zone Leaders and hopefully, by now, they have contacted the missionaries in his area and they have talked to him! This guy was seriously so amazing and I love him!
Heavenly Father works wonders in the lives of all of us every day. :) Overall though, this week has just been so amazing. We have had so many good opportunities to teach people. We have had a bunch of new investigators as well! I got to teach, for the first time, the Restoration to 2 non-members the other day, one of whom had never really heard it. It was so amazing. So spiritual and I hope and pray that they felt it and that they have read the Book of Mormon and prayed and felt the joy that the Gospel can and does bring! This church is so true! I know it! I know that Heavenly Father blesses his children so abundantly. Missionary work is the Lord's work. Jesus Christ truly is our Savior and as we consistently strive to keep His commandments, learn and grow from our mistakes and read the scriptures and pray, miracles can and WILL happen in our lives. I love you all so much! Go forth and do much good!
 As a Missionary, I love to leave invitations to people so here is one coming your way! ;) I invite all , who want to grow closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, to try to pray for the opportunity to serve someone every day. I know that when we are serving others, we are serving God and happiness will come into our lives as we do that. :) Again, I love you all! Have a fantastic week! :)
Elder Merkley

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