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

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Monday: Today was a wonderful Pday. I was the first one up, and I just
walked through the apartment, enjoying the feeling of nothing to do.
We went to write the family, but my family hadn written me yet, so we
planned to return in the afternoon. Hna. Pinar wrote me and says she
misses me and that it`s not the same without me there. Fernanda told
me it`s her mom`s b-day this Sunday, and that I HAVE to call. :) We
discovered that the 4 of us are almost out of cash, and the rest of
our moeny is on our cards. The buses to our Meeting only take cash,
and I have enough for my comp. and I to make the trip there. It`s
scary because the only ATM in the city is closed. We returned to
writing the family, and found out that Daddy now has a cold. My
favorite email was from Cassie (friend). She worried about me, and, to
comfort me, she used a Scripture I shared with her...a YEAR ago! She
remembered! She wanted to open her b-day letter so bad, that Tina had
to take it away. My hijo threatened to do the same thing when I got my
b-day letter from her. We did contacts in the evening, and had a good
time talking with people.

Tuesday: Alright, so today was the best day I`ve had in 2 months. Oh!
I`m so happy. I`ve been so focused on the principles of sacrifice and
Go`s love for us, lately. today, I finally was able to put them into
practice. In my District Meeting, I had everyone analyze the
"Christlike Attributes" in PMG and choose their weakest one. Elder
Smith and I tied for "Diligence." My next-worst was patience. This
week, we`re all going to improve our attributes and become real
disciples of Christ. I`m really worried about Elder Smith. He`s too
casual with the Gospel, and laughed at me when I tried to motivate
them to be better. We had french fries with Hna. Soledad for lunch.
Yum. Elder Smith started to annoy me with inappropriate talk, and I
then got upset at myself for not being patient with him. So I tried
better, and got better. we started a fast for a greater desire for
good and for Daddy`s health. We were heading out to do contacts, and
Elder Smith was saying somethign contrary, but my comp. said, "I want
to do contacts with Elder Merrell!" I was so happy for him! We set an
appt. with our first contact. Our last contact (Diligence PWN!) was
really special. He was a drunk kid, but we were able to "astonish"
(Matt. 7:28) him. He kept asking about 2012 and the end of the world.
He also admitted he was smoking and drinking. He wasn`t sure if he
should follow God or tuck those beliefs away. I asked for the Lord`s
help . I had the impression he was nervous of being held accountable
for sins. I taught him of being able to repent, be baptized and
receive a remission of those sins. Then, he was really interested. It
was like a switch had been flipped. He invited us back for another
day. I`m grateful for the Lord`s help with me and my weaknesses.

Wednesday: Today wasn`t as productive as yesterday, but I was still
able to learn a few important things. I`ve discovered that I really am
happier when I choose the right. I`ve gotten much better at
recognizing the Spirit`s promptings, too. I realized that most times,
when I don`t choose the right, it`s because I stop and think, "Oh, but
this other thing might be fun," or something. But it`s like in one of
those shows where, objectively, you know everything that`s going on
and what the character should do. You know what he needs, but he still
chooses wrong. I figured I know what I need and what will happen if I
don`t do it. So, I`m not even going to consider following my own
desires and passions when I get a prompting. If the Spirit says, " "
that`s what I`m going to do. I was reading some conference talks. One,
by Elder Uchtdorf, taught me another lesson. Pride is one of the most
dangerous sins. It`s about competition. There are two extremities
Satan uses to attack: making us feel more important than otheres, and
making us feel less important and feel alone. But the solution to both
of those is selfless/humble service (Mosiah 3:19). I love being able
to help others. We had lunch with the Llancapan family. I bought a
choc. bar for Hno. Llancapan`s b-day. Afterward, I searched our map
for 45 min. trying to find our contact`s house for our appt. We never
found it, and that means we never showed up. Dang it! Wep re still
trying to be better missionaries, though. I hope Elder Brady can
change. It seems everyone`s apathetic in this house but me.

Thursday: This morning was normal: Elder Maldonado and I were up while
the other two alept. Haha. It`s kind of sad. When Elder Arjona called
he had some important announcements. The biggest one was that Elder
Hall`s going home, on Tuesday, because of his sickness. Elder Arjona
wants everyone who can to meet with them, in Concepción to say
goodbye. I spent the next hour coordinating with the other District
Leaders, so Elder Hall wouldn`t overhear. I asked Elder Arjona if he
knew his next comp. He said no, but it would be really weird if one of
us from Curanilahue became his comp., but he`d find out on Saturday.
Elder Corliss said I+ d hate him for not telling me something, but I`d
find out on Saturday. He thinks I`ll be zone Leader. Ha! I guess we`ll
see. We had lunch with Hna. María Rivas. She always makes home-made
cherry juice. It`s sooooo good, especially after being in the heat for
so long. We had an appt. with a young man, John, we met the other day.
I went with Elder Maldonado, so I wouldn`t have to teach alone. John
wasn`t home, so we knocked doors on another street for a few hours. We
got one appt. with a lady, Veronica. We found an inactive member that
has baptism-age children that aren`t baptized. his name`s oscar, and
he`s really nice. We had our weekly game night with the ward. We
played soccer and tennis. When we got home, Pablo called me. He`s been
in Santiago for a few weeks. He said he has a friend, Catelín, who
wants us to invite her to church. I told him we`d go by tomorrow.
Tender mercies of the Lord are wonderful.

Friday: Today was a good, if uneventful, day. Actually, Elder smith
told me of some disturbing news. Apparently, there`s a bill being
passed back home, that will outlaw internet copyright
infringement--for media, information, etc. I didn`t think much of it
until he tol dme that if it gets passed we could lose websites like
Google, yahoo, and wikipedia. This is huge! Elder Smith and I went to
lunch together. Today, the Relief Society had a party at the city
pool. So we walked out there to pick up our bagged lunch and then
walked back. As we walked, Elder Smith told me how public gymns work
and how great they are. He taught me a little about weightlifting,
too. we had peeled potatoes with a lettuce-tuna salad. We bought a
completo to help it go down easier. Elder Maldonado went out with me
in the afternoon. We went by Catelín`s house, so we could get to know
her and invite her to church like Pablo asked us to do. But her dad
came out and told us she works in Concepción on weekdays, and that
we`d have to return tomorrow. He wasn`t that cordial with us, but
we`re going to come back anyway. We found, in a newspaper, that
"megaupload.com" was closed yesterday. Since that`s where most of
Chile gets it`s music/any media, it was pretty big. If the bill does
go through, and we can`t use google, then college is going to be very
hard. Holy Smokes!

Saturday: Today was a productive day. WE got up and did our workouts
and studies. Elder Maldonado aske dme if I could beat his push-up
record. I did, and then Elder Smith beat me. That`sfine. I built for
moving and jumping and stuff. I went out with Elder Maldonado, in the
morning, to visit some of his old contacts and try and help them
progress. wE didn`t find any. and we had to climb a staircase of...I
don`t know how many stairs, but we went up a 1/4 mile. Whew! We had
lunch with the Riffo family. wE found out that the 60 year-old brother
has been working 18-hour shifts for a week, (4 PM-10 AM) and he still
comes to church! After lunch, he put on a serious face and said,
"Don`t get me wrong Elders, we`re happpy to have you here. Very happy.
But--" Right there, I thought he ws gonig to chew us out for
something, as a LOT of people like to do in this country. But he said
this, "Please forgive us for not having more." He actually thought we
cared about that, and wanted to serve us more. This brother is one of
the best examples of Christ-like humility that I`ve seen. Elder
Corliss had told me a story of a peasant boy who saw a man standing by
a shiny car. He asked the owner if it was his. The man said he`d
bought it for his brother who wasn`t doing so well. The boy said, "I
wish," and the man thought he would wish for a brother to buy him
things. But tears came to his eyes as he said, "I wish I could BE a
brother like that." I`m going to try and be like that for my family.
We couldn`t find Catelín. We were walking around. We passed an old
lady on a park bench, and her smile was sweet with a little bit
of...hope(?) in it. So I turned around (imagine that image of a
missionary doing a 180 on the sidewalk to talk to someone. Weird) and
spoke with her. He rname`s María, and she and her husband would love
for us to visit them. In the evening, we cleaned the Chapel. Then I
helped Elder Brady prepare for the talk that he has to give tomorrow.

Sunday: today was less than awesome, but still ended well. for our
class in Priesthood we had to have read "Counsel for the Youth" by
Boyd K. Packer. It was a rally good message from the last conference.
He said that even though bad, scary things may be happening in the
world, IF we heed the promptings of the Spriit, we will be protected.
That`s a huge promise. He said that "hearing" the voice of the Spirit
is more of a feeling. Elder Brady did well on his talk. We had lunch
with a part-member family. I didn`t know that. When Elder Smith
introduced himself, I said, "He had the second vision." The non-member
21 year-old said, "What?" Realizing he wasn`t a member, I quickly
said, "What?" like I hadn`t heard right, and moved on. In the
afternoon, I asked everyone to help clean the apartment for Elder
Corliss and his comp. that were going to be staying with us tonight.
No one helped for a while. Elder Smith and Elder Brady joined later.
We had to take the clothes today. I asked Elder Smith to wait for me.
He walked right out the door. My comp. and I left later. They waited a
1/4 mile later. I didn`t speak `cause I felt like Elder Smith just
didn`t respect me and had not cared what I had to say. He even said so
when I told him what bothered me. He said that he hadn`t heard me aske
him to wait, and told me I shouldn`t be so sensitive. He called me a
baby and aske if I`d do that to my wife. He said I should grow up. He
just kept attacking, blowing the whole thing out of proportion. I said
nothing and couldn`t sto pthe tears. Elder Brady swore at Elder Smith
for the 2 months of bullying that I`ve endured from Elder Smith. (
hadn`t realized it for what it was). I cried all the way home and the
other two stayed to see the laundry sister. I didn`t want to be angry,
so I made Elder Smith`s be dand folded hi sclothes. He apologized when
he got home. Hna. Soledad asked to speak with us (Elder Smith and I)
in person, at 10 PM. She told us about a serious marriage problem that
she had(and it is serious). She doesn`t know what to do. I was like,
"Please, Heavenly Father, help me help her." I gave her som eadvice,
then a Priesthood blessing of comfort. She said she felt the Spirit as
I blessed her. I called my convert, Sabrina, and my Chilean mom, Maite
Millahual, to wish them both Happy Birthday.

No comments:

Post a Comment