Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 8, 2013

Kamusta Everybody!
This past week has been great. Tagalog is coming along pretty well. I felt like I finally understood sentences, right up until they told us that we’ve only learned what we need to know to understand the basic structure, and that it really wouldn't actually be said that way.... but at least I can carry a short conversation! We began teaching two "investigators" this week, who are really just our teachers taking the roll of investigator.  It has been going well and I have learned that in most cases simple is always better. I think often times we focus on the unimportant stuff, like how many candles were on the candle stick in Solomon’s temple, and what that represents, when what we really need to focus on is the fundamentals; faith, repentance and enduring to the end.

Another thing that I have been thinking about with my studying this week is how our body's are influenced by the Spirit and just how much of a measurable physical effect the Spirit can have on us.  I gave a few powerful blessings this week and I noticed that after I gave them I felt more tired than I did before. Later reading about the Joseph Smith story, he says that after he had the first vision he had to regain his strength; many prophets after having visions were exhausted. Such as Lehi, after he saw all that he did he went and "dwelt in his tent" I think that might be scripture talk for "he took a nap". It made me think about how powerful the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is and the apparent effect that it has on us. It is truly a blessing that God allows us to be able to use this power to bless others, and that others can bless us.
At choir practice on Sunday I found out that the entire Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency will be coming later this month, June 23. (I secretly only joined choir because I hoped this would happen.  I had heard that the new mission presidents are trained by them, and I wanted a good seat in the Marriott center).

On Wednesday there were 940+ new missionaries that came! That is by far the MTC record! I saw quite a few of my friends, Aaron Peery, Stephen Chipman, and Russel Fitzpatrick. However now the cafeteria is a crazy house and you have to wait in line for 10 minutes to get the leftovers. I think prison may have better food, and more yard time J.

I have gotten to know one Elder from Kiralbas, a small island in the pacific. (I have no clue how to spell it, I didn’t even know it existed until he told me). I am amazed by how humble a guy he is. He told me that there are 47 people on his island, and that 5 of them are here. It really makes you appreciate the influence the gospel has on people’s lives. A good portion of his country’s population is gone to serve missions. Talking with him has also made me appreciate all that we have and how lucky we are to live in the United States.

Thanks very much for the package, it was great. I really like the watch and the cookies have been DELICIOUS! I also liked Budgy’s paw prints! I'm glad that everyone is enjoying summer and having a good time!

Thank you to Grandma Brock for the kind note! I hope all is well with you!
Megan! Congratulations!! I'm really happy for you! (Did the cookies work?)
It sounds like my cousin Cole is having great experiences!
I love the MTC, and while it seems like I will never actually leave here, I am enjoying every minute.
I miss you all! Ingat po! (Tagalog for later)

Elder Hayden Merrill

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