Monday, December 29, 2014

Home away from home

Magandang Hapon sa inyo lahat!

 This past week has been great. There has been so much going on but it’s been really fun and there have been lots of unique ways to be able to share the gospel. Today is my last day here in Tanuaun. This next transfer I will be training and reopening another area again. It will be sad to leave but I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend my last week.
 On Thursday for Christmas we were able to visit several members and a few investigators. My favorite part of the day was how everyone was really happy. People gave gifts but you could feel that that wasn't the most important thing..even for the little kids. Everyone was focused on the Savior and their families. Even with the gifts that were exchanged it was easy to see that they were given with the person in mind and lots of thought had been put-into it. 
 Then Saturday was Fiesta. It was hard to teach because everyone was either cooking or eating, but we were able to find some potential investigators while visiting a few members. It reminded me of a quote by  Elder Christopherson in Preach my Gospel about how we should always have our nets in the water, or in other words, we should be looking for opportunities to share the gospel. Even the busiest day can be productive if you look for opportunities to accomplish your purpose. 
 Yesterday, several of the members prepared a really nice birthday dinner for me. I am officially no longer a teenager!!  It was really kind of them to prepare something and it made me feel like I was in my home away from home. 

I hope everyone has a great new year!

     Elder Merrill

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Maligayang Pasko sa inyo lahat!
 This past week has been great as we have been preparing for Christmas. While there may not be snow or very many Christmas lights here there is still a lot of excitement. For me the best part has been teaching members how they can help others feel the Saviors love this Christmas. 
 On Saturday we had the ward Christmas party. It was luau themed and went really well. We helped decorate the chapel to look Hawaiian and the other members helped cook and made presentations and the Relief Society and Primary did dance numbers. The Primary was very funny, I was impressed by how good they were. 
 Sunday night we had the Baptism of Raell. The final member of the Gallinero family to be baptized. It was an amazing baptism and the spirit was really strong. President Mangum, as well as the other couple missionaries, were able to attend. Raell bore a great testimony and it was wonderful to see his father baptize him. That was the best Christmas gift this year. 
 I hope everyone has a great Christmas day and can find ways to bless others as well

 Elder Merrill

Monday, December 15, 2014

Typhoon Ruby

Kamusta Tropa!
Sorry it has been several weeks since I last emailed. A few weeks ago there wasn't enough time and last week our email time got cut short due to the typhoon.  As missionaries and members we were well prepared, the fear was for those who weren't. The suspense of waiting for the storm was unnerving, I think suspense is certainly the worst kind of fear.  The storm passed through on Monday and we were blessed that it wasn't strong, just heavy rain and some wind. 
The weather on Friday was really nice and it didn't seem like there was a typhoon at all. That day we actually had a few really great lessons about the second coming. If we are prepared we have nothing to fear but we feel anxious for those who aren't well prepared, even though they know it’s coming. We also talked about how we need to strengthen our spiritual foundation, just as we need to strengthen the foundation of the roof for the storm. You can never be too prepared.
Other than that we have been having a great time teaching about the Savior as we prepare for Christmas. Our mission president challenged us to read the Four Gospels. I finished last week, and  as I have come to better understand His love for me I feel anxious to help others feel the same. I think it is no coincidence that after the four gospels there is the book of Acts. Just like the apostles, as we come to know the Savior we should act and share the gospel with others. 
 I hope everyone is doing well!

 Elder Merrill