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 good pday. Very productive. We got a call late
last night, from the Zone Leaders, saying that we needed to have the
house clean all week because Pres. is going to come and inspect them.
The gratifying thing is that all 4 of us did our parts. Elder Smith
cleaned the nasty bathroom which had not been cleaned in 6 months.
Ugh! Elder Maldonado took care of the kitchen. I`ve been asking him
to, for over a week,. There have been ants EVERYWHERE in our
apartment. Elder Brady cleaned up his "organized Chaos". Now our room
looks decent. I swept the house (wooden floors), dusted, and washed
the walls. Then, I did something I didn`t use to do: I looked for
something else that needed doing, and took care of the fridge. As a
house, we`re in a financial pickle again. Everyone`s out of cash again
(except me) because everyone keeps lending money to Elder Smith, and
he uses his credit card to pay them off. He`ll get cash on Wednesday.
I hope. I loved talking with the family today. Mom said that Daddys
feeling much better, not coughing as badly, but his neck still aches
from bonking his head last week. All in all, it was a good day.

Tuesday:Today was awesome! I got the money situation taken care of,
and we were all able to go to Distrizona. We had enough to take only a
certain kind of bus, and we had to go on the first one becasue we
don`t get many buses to CaƱete and take what we get. The first bus
wasn`t the one. I asked the driver how much he charged and, sure
enough, it was too much. He must have seen something in my face
because he offered a lower price, which was exactly what we needed.
Tender mercies of the Lord! The Zone Leaders introduced s ome new
goals and I passed them to my district. Eder Arjona spoke with Elder
Brady, telling him he needed to start helping out or he`d go home. I
bought a big painting for $3. It was random, but gorgeous. I`m full of
enthusiasm again. There`s still a part that`s tired and a little
disappointed, but I know this is a critical time for elder Brady so
I`m going to be a good example. I also asked Eder Corliss to motivate
me, just in case. We met nice people and not-so-nice people. We got
into one guy`s house, but he was WAY drunk because his wife left him
14 years ago. He asked me to help him and I told him to stop drinking.
He went into another room and came back with wine dribbling down his
chin. I felt bad. The look on his face is something I usually see in
children. We shared a scripture before setting an appt. with him for
tomorrow morning, hopefully he`ll be sober. Oh! And his name`s
gustavo. It felt good to be enthusiastic again. I`ll last longer this
time. Also, I found a list of Elder Brady`s "Positives" that he has,
to help change his attitude. He mom had listed, like, 4, and he had 2.
One of his was a re-wording of one of his mom`s. the other was "my
companion". ME! That makes me feel good.

Wednesday:It`s the first day of February. That`s so crazy how fast the
time is going. this morning was so great. I got Elder Brady up on
time, today. He kept telling me he was not a morning person the whole
time. He alsosaid he didn`t like studying. But when I sat him down,
and encouraged him to write in his study journal, he took to it like
an alligator takes to some hapless animal...that was a weird simile.
:) He just got really into it, you know? But it kind of made me feel
guilty, knowing that if I hadn`t let myself get disappointed I would
have been able to keep him going. But it takes a LOT to get him going.
I`m afraid that I`ll be held responsable for not having had the best
attitude. It didn`t bother me before. But I feel that I should always
be happy as a Missionary. Anyway, I AM feeling happier. We had our
personal studies as well as a companionship study. It was awesome to
see him explaining things to me. I was so happy to find how many times
I was smiling throughout the day. It rained on Monday, and it seems
that it was the "end of summer" rain, meaining that it`s going to
start cooling down. Thank goodness. I`ll be gone before winter gets
here, though. That`s weird. I was kind of nervous to go over to
gustavo`s. but he wasn`t even home. We had lunch with Hna. Diaz. She
made us french fries and rice. She also prepared an amazing salsa. We
were g oing to visit a referral with a member, javiera, but she never
showed up. Elder Corliss called in the evening, to check up on me. He
really is a caring and considerate friend. His hijo says he wants me
to be his comp. Elder Corliss says he`s worried he`s not being a good
trainer, even though he`s working really hard. He`s awesome.

Thursday: today was awesome! We had, like, 3 apts. set up for us and I
was excited. I got up and had oreos with milk for breakfast (don`t
look at me like that) as I studied. I`m reading in Helaman 5 . I read
a quote by Pres. Kimball. He aske dwhat`s the most important word in
teh whole dictionary? he suggests it is "remember." I think so, too.
`cause when you think about it, covenants are the most imporant
thing...out of everything. They`re our ticket into the Celestial
Kingdom. We HAVE to stay faithful to them. but I also felt kind of
bad, `cause history just doesn`t yank my chain, if you know what I
mean. Anyway, things are still going well with Elder Brady`s change.
He`s getting up earlier and studying. He`s using his study journal and
he started Spanish study on his own, reciting the first part of the
First Vision before moving onto the next. It was very heartwarming. We
had TONS o ffrench fries, with Hna. Soledad, for lunch. SO GOOD!!! She
really likes having us over. Something great that Elder Brady did in
the afternoon was say, "Let`s go to our appt." I had been trying to
muster the motivation to say the same to him. He`s starting to help me
out. All 3 of our appts. fell through, and I was sad. the last was a
referral from a youth in the Branch, Javiera. But we had a miracle
when we got home. Apparently, the other missionaries had been stopped
by a member in a car with his family. They just moved here, from
Santiago, and he has 2 sons he wants baptized! :O One`s 12 and the
other`s 8. The wife`s not a member, either, and she`s indifferent, so
we may be able to work with her. The Lord has blessed us with the
tender mercies because we`ve been trying so hard. Also the zone
Leaders say we should think about baptism so much, that we dream about
it. I tried last night, and got close. I dreamt I was swimming in a
supermarket. Hey. There was water. That`s close.

Friday: Today was a good day. everythign just seems better since both
elder Brady AND I have been trying our best. I had my personal study
in Helaman 5 again. It`s the part where Nephi and Lehi are stuck in a
prison with a bunch of bloodthirsty lamanites...Oh and there`s a cloud
of darkness, and a pillar of fire, and an earth-trembling voice.
Anyway, the Lamanites ask, "What can we do, so that this cloud of
darkness may be removed?" One of the nephite desserters says they
should call to the voice until they have faith in Christ. From a
symbolic standponit it gets interesting. A cloud of darkness, in
Lehi`s dream for example, usually means temptation or something that
keeps us from God. And I`m sure "Ccalling to the voice" doesn`t imply
something empty and impersonal. They had a purpose: have faith in
christ. they needed to TALK with him. When they had all done that,
they were surounded by PILLARS (plural) of fire. It wasn`t one big
one. They each had a personal connection, through the Holy Spirit, to
Heavenly Father. Just like each of us do. Pretty neat, I think. Elder
Brady not only let me teach him grammar, but he was excited for it. I
hope he can change. He needs more light in h is heart. We had lu nch
with the Branch Pres`s wife. I feel great when I go over there,
becasue she used to be really grouchy, and now I just love seeing her
face light up when she talks with me. In the afternoon. I went with
elder Smith to take out money, so he could pay me back, as well as
accompany him to his haircut. We were going to have an FHE with Hna.
Soledad and her husband, but she cancelled. We improvised and did what
we always do with free time: contacts.

Saturday: Today was really hard for some reason. I just felt really down

Sunday: I woke up this morning in a fit of depression. Things have
been going better, and yet I feel as if I`ve been failing more. I
don`t know. I completed 21 months today. I remember meeting lots of
people with that time, and thinking they were so close to the end, but
I still have 3 months left. But even still, I`m pretty dang close to
the end and it`s kind of distracting. We met with the Branch
Presidency in lieu (ya like that word?) of Hno. Neira, seeing as how
he was out of town. he was nice enough to call me 10 min. before the
meeting to let me know, as well as to let me know I`d be teaching
Sunday School today. Lovely. It actually went pretty well. It was on
the "Fall of Adam and Eve," something I`ve studied a lot in the
Mission. But the coolest experience of the day was when we were
sitting in Sacrament Meeting as the bread was being passed. I was
thinking of all the things I wanted to do better on, when all of a
sudden I heard a very distinct voice in my thoughts that my whole body
heard, "I forgive you." There haven`t been many times when I`ve
identified the Spirit as a voice, but this was one of them. and it was
the greatest feeling to know that I could put my mistakes, regret, and
pain on the Atonement, and to know that Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ not only know me personally, but that they love me in spite of
everything I may do wrong.

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