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 Cañete 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.