Hey Everyone!
This is my blog about all the activities and details about my mission. My folks are going to be updating it weekly, based on the information that I send them through my letters. My current address:
Elder Brigham James Merrell
MTC Mailbox # 138
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aug 16 2010

Tuesday: Stupid pride. Today was a great day, atually. We had our Distrizona meeting, and did practices. I did them right, and impressed a lot of people. They said I was a powerful teacher, so I guess language wasn´t a barrier. Elder Barajas and I came back, and I confessed to him that Kayla had dumped me because I didn´t have confidence in myself. He told me that was his biggest peeve, and pointed to a success chart for missionaries. One bullet said, "measures success in himself." This actually helped me a lot. Just like in swimming, don´t pay attention to the people in their lanes. Just focus on your 25 yards of water, and swim the best you can. The scriptures tell us we shouldn´t run faster than we are able. We had lunch with the Millahual´s, and set up an appt. with Teresa on Friday. She´s been reading and praying this whole past week. While we were contacting, Elder Barajas had fun by sticking his pen in a spiderweb. A spider as big as a quarter leaped out surprisingly fast. I yelped and leaped back. As I walked away, I had a hint of the depression I had, when I saw the video about the boy who cracked his skull in half. I realized then, that fear is the absence of the Spirit. What a profound thought that was for me. We have the spirit with us so much, that when it leavesw us now, compared to before the mission, it is...much more of an impact. I just felt allone and scared. But through prayer, I got it´s presence back. Hna. Millahual and Fernanda came with us to Robin & Bilha´s to share their hour-long testimonies. After they left, everyone made food and talked. There wasn´t room for me,so Elder Barajas suggested I sit down. I did. I thought about girls, and technology, and games with such strength and focus I couldn´t escape it. I felt horrible because I have so much time left. That+s why I said, "stupid pride". I´m wanting what I can´t have. I wasn´t satisfied through prayer, or reading spanish scriptures ( ´cause I only understand 1 word in a while). I sat and tried to make my mind blank, and project static noise in my mind. I had songs of girls stuck in my head instead. So I sat and fidgeted in silence until I remembered I had brought "A marvelous work and a wonder" for once. I found solace in that, at least.
Wednesday: We soke up this morning, and I had a good time reading "A marvelous work and a wonder", learning more about the gospel. I already believe it, but Legrand Richards talks about the little points in such detail I can´t help but be impressed. When I joined Elder Barajas, He told me we lost Sandra and probably Niko. He had called to see if we could visit tonight, and she said she had other commitments. When he asked about tomorrow, she said that she was catholic, her family was Catholic and she wasn´t going to go to church anymore. How horrible! I just get so worried when I think of these people, who have felt the sp9irit, stand in front of God and he asks them why they didn´t listen to us. They told us they knew it was true, but they´re too scared of their family members. I wonder what their father will think of that. Dang. We did some contacts and Permanaced for the rest of the morning. Elder Vincent will have to leave at 3:45 on Saturday (he´ll baptize robin and Bilha), but the wedding starts at 2:30, with the baptism to follow at 3:00. We planned it out as best we could before going to lunch. We ate quickly, because we discovered ourselves to be very sleepy. Afterward, we attacked Querihue (another sector) as a zone. I was put in a division with elder isquierdo. He doesn´t speak english, but that´s not a problem anymore. We did 20 contacts, and found 2 good investigators for Herrera and Rodriguez. We returned home, and Elder Barajas and I made some yummy eggs. Then we went to choir practice. There were all the youth singing there, but they all left to another room when choir started. It was me, a tenor and a bass. Nowemen, and Elder Barajas had to play piano. It was more of a "special number" than a choir. We bought some bread, and headed over to Robin and Bilha´s to review the interview questions with them, but Bilha was getting her hair curled and everything. We visited with Robin and Alex, for a while, before we hadto go. (I was sitting in a chair, minding my musiness, when Elder Barjas farted and walked past me. Insuleted, I said, " You´re crap-dusting me?" He turned around and walked past my other side saying, "no. I´m crap-circling you!"
Thursday: Well, I´ve been in the field for 1 month, and on my mission for 3 months and I just wanted to say that I´m a little homesick. I couldn´t find "A marvelous work and a wonder" this morning, so I read the July ensign, the last english one of my mission. As I did, I ate some mentos and thought of Daddy in his blazer. I read two stories: one was about telling the gospel with confidence; and the other was about members having strong family relationships while their family was separated. The first was helpful for obvious reasons. But the second one was all about family experiences, and I missed my family/wanted my own, and wanted to be a good father/wanted others to have this gift. There was a lot of love. There were lots of sweet things the fathers did for their families that I totally would do, if I had a family. I was so thankful for my father, and the example of love and love of the gospel that he´s been in my life. I thought of the strength I could and will be for my wife. Next, I contemplated the intricate phenomenon of the language. As I listen to the people, I find myself understanding them as longa s I don´t focus on individual words. I just listen to a sentence, and when it´s completed, I can understand the information they conveyed. I just thought it was interesting to note the changes that have happened to me. We had lunch with Hna. Veronica--Bean and noodle soup...again. It was raining pretty hard today. But the days have been really good lately, so I just decided to thank Heavenly Father for what he gave us. When we had to take our clothes to laundry, I prayed for the rain to stop for a liggle while. It did, right up until we delivered it, and then it started again. We picked up Fernanda, and went to the Chapel to make french fries. We listened to music while making them, and we had fun with all the ward missionaries. I confessed my homesickness to her, and how I was always the nerd--overlooked and ignored. She says the ission will change me. I think it already has. I´m gonna be way more confident and comfortable when I get back. Life certainly is going to be intereting then. But sometimes it´s fun to do something hard, yet be comfortable with it. Like I´m bundled up on our little couch, writing this in freezing temperatures, and find it normal. Sweet!
Friday: We got up and studied a little bit before heading off to visit Teresa. She´s been reading and praying, so that´s good. She was worried because her childeren and husband are al baptized catholic, and she doesn´t want to separate from them. By reading moroni 8 (which she loves), Elder Barajas helped her understand her kids can be baptized when they´re 8. I think her husband will be troublesome, though. She told us he is indifferent toward religion. If he will not be baptized and the kids are, I think the kids will be able to baptize and seal their parents. It was a good lesson. As we were walking, I realized that the weather here is a lot like South California. It´s actually a pretty nice place. Sometimes I´ll be walking, and then, all of a sudden, I´ll run into a part that smells like firewood because of all the stoves. It makes me feel like I´m in the mountains. It´s awesome. We had to make wedding programs for Robin and Bilha, so we did that until lunch, ate lunch, then went back to finish. We made photo copies of the program after finding a place to do it. I also bought "trix" for breakfast. We visited the millahual´s but had to go quickly after receiving a call from Robin and bilha, sayhing they needed help carrying benches TO the house. It wasn´t too bad. But I did get the bench with the most spiders. I´ve decided, officially, that I cannot conquer my fear of big spiders. *shudder* For FHE; we watched some videos. My favorite clip was of a father that vuilt an iron bridge for a railroad. H had a son he loved very much. One day, his son dropped a toy in the tracks as the train started. The train had been left on a track that led off a cliff. To save the people on the train, he had to switch it to the track his son was on. His sacrifice saved all the wounded, addicted, sinning people. It represented the atonement. I cried a little at the fAther´s grief. We did the interview of Robina and Bilha with Elders Grillone and Hawker. Our zone leaders are so cool. They talked with us on the way home, but when we came home, Herrera had made the whole house dirty. Pants and coats were everywhere, along with discarded candy wrappers. Elder Grillone told them to clean up and I gave him a mentos. :)
Saturday: We got up today with the intention of playing soccer at the stake center, but when we got outside we discovered for so dense we couldn´t see 30 feet in front of us. I voted to boycott playing in the cold. So we went an decorated and cleaned the whole church for Robina and Bilha´s wedding. I had the chapel and cultural hall to do. I hung up ribbons and cleaned the floors. Elder Barajas cleaned the bathrooms and fot, while readying the pipes as well. He´s awesome. We finished after 4 hours, and rushed off to shower, give Robin his shoes for the wedding, and buy lunhc for ourselves and the sister missionaries who had prepared refreshments. We got back with five minutes to spare. I spent 2 of those minutes meeting Elder Vincent. He is a very cool guy. He has a quiet, calm sense of humor that is easy and well-appreciated. The remaining 3 minutes were spent shoving 2 completos (hot dogs on steroids) down my throat, coughing a little bit, and booking it to the chapel. We had a beautiful wedding ceremony before we rushed them off to change their clothes. Bilha was so excited, she started crying. We said an opening prayer before we started the baptism. The fot doors were shut, but we could still all hear Bilha giggling, followed by a loud splash. Elder vincent had fallen in! Everyone laughed. After that, it was smooth sailing. After Robin exited, he began to cry. All his nervousness, all his worrying, and all his distracting doubts were gone! I was so happy that he was able to find the truth in his life. They´ll be confirmed tomorrow, and robin will receive the Aaronic priesthood next week. I had an opportunity to talk to Elder Vincent afterward. He figured out a way to stay longer. We were even wearing the same suit! We totally posed for photos. Afterward, we went to the Millhual house. We visited them before heading to the after-party at Robin & Bilha´s. While there, I shoed pictures to some girls. I barely understood what they were saying, and I took a humbling blow--no, it was more of a smack-down--in my ability to speak. I really thought I wasw getting it. I doubt I´ll progress much. It feels so hopeless sometimes. But I don´t lose hope...just confidence. As I saw my pictures, I realized my mission life is so crazy fun. I just hope that I can continue to be a better and better instrument in the hands of the lord.
Sunday: Today was a day of thoughts and repose. We went to church. teresa couldn´t because her aunt randomly showed up, and she had to play "super-hostess" for her. We have to move her baptismal date now. We confirmed and blessed Robin and Bilha as members of the church. I was o happy! Robin was clean shaven, and wearing his suit. And he attended all the classes with us. I wrote a letter to jess as a response to her last letter from June! I bore her my testimony of Heavenly Father´s love for us, and that he´s always there for us. I know she and Kevin will need his love when he leaves. I think they´ll be alright...I hope. After church, we walked Robin to Bilha and I said, "Su esposa?" Which means "Your wife?" I meant it to be said in such a manner that it would sound new to him. He took her by the hand and said, in english, "mine." I laughed so hard. They walked off down the hall, hand in hand, and Elder Barajas and I just crossed our arms and watched as I told him "there goes an eternal family." They made it! I´m so happy for them! Ah! We had lunch here, at home, and were soon joined by the Querihue Elders. we were so tired after all the wedding preparations, we just rested. Because of the wedding and all the non-member family members, we had met our weekly goals! Elder Rodriguez got ater me for not kissing anyone yet. He had his first when he was 11, and was a pro by 13. He said we should kiss BEFORE a relationship. I told him of all the good member girls by my house and how they had wanted neither relationships nor kisses before the prophet had outlined. I expressed some concern at this, and fear I have of when I return. Nobody had wanted me before, why would they after? He assured me that I had lost. I thanked him sarcastically before he finished telling me that I would win. He related relationships to missionary work, and the gospel. Jesus loved everyone too, but he was often rejected. But there were those that DID follow him. He said before my first kiss, or baptism, I need to teach 3 lessons: 1. that I´m a good man 2. that I´m different than the others 3. that I´ll love her and care for her (he also said to gain confidence with others, he gives them little candies that he carries around. haha.). When we ate our weekly sopaipillas with Robin and bilha. and I noticed a happy peace about her, I hadn´t seen before, that made her look like those sisters back home. It was so beautiful! (In revelations, it says the whore of all the earth will be set upon 7 peaks. the Vatican is surrounded by 7 mountains. HA!) P.S. I prayed to heavenly Father for forgiveness and asked what I could do to know I was worthy and saved. I received nothing. I asked other questions with similar results. I was so scared and felt so alone that I cried VIOLENTLY for the first time in years and just asked for help. I felt so sad for the very thought of sinning. I got up from my knees with the feeling of reproach in my heart. I thanked Heavenly Father for my fear of sinning. I´m recognizing the spirit! I don´t think that I´ve sinned, but after reading revelations and thinking about that kind of apocalyptic stuff, you have to make sure, ya know?