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
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Monday: Today was a good Pday. My comp. was so excited to sleep in, that he did it twice. He jokingly asked if I´d get him breakfast in bed. I did anyway. Haha. Then he went back to bed. I got the house cleaned up,and read some chapters on how to be more creative. Word play with synonyms and puns are a great creative exercise. I woke my comp. up at 11, and we went to the office at 12. We hitch-hiked. We turned it into a "mobile Contact." I didn´t have any mail. While I was there, I got to talk with Elder Tanner. He said that after a month-and-a-half he´s just barely having time to leave the office and work in his sector, which is my old one, Hualpencillo. He said he met with Hna. Soledad and that she just loves me so much. She asked if they, the Assisstants, could arrange for me to have lunch with her sometime.We´ll probably do exchanges on March 4th. That´ll be so much fun! We went to write the family. Daddy´s almost completely better. he´ll be off his blood thinners soon, which worries all of us, ´cause we don´t want the bloodclots to return. Daddy said Cassie (sister) misses me and loves me so much. I miss her, too. we got lunch at Doggi´s before coming home.We visited Hna. Aurora and then Hno. Marcos.Marcos had a court session today,and he saw that his wife just hates him. He was a brokenman. I testified to him of the healing power of the Atonement, and thepeace it brings. He called thebishop right there, and set up an appt.for tomorrow night.
Tuesday: I think I´m starting to get the hang of handling my comp. There are just lots of little things that he will or won´t do. For example, he WILL ask me to do lots of things his way (don´t bother him during personal study, teach by ear (the spirit) so we don´t have to plan,etc).He WON´T do something for nothing. If I ask him to stop doing somethign that bothers me, he´ll askwhy, prove that it´s okay to do, and then accuse me of doing something worse. But it´s helping me to be better. In the morning, we planned out our distrizona. We dicided to challenge every companionship to put 3 morebaptismal dates.Then, we taught them the process of working a Miracle. It was a really cool study. The Zone was really excited. We´re trying to serve the other Missionaries by repairingtheir homes. We went to the home of the Missionaries in Talcahuano Centro. They live at the top of a staircase that´s 2,582 (or around there) steps long. Ugh! We took stock of what they needed and reported it to the Mission office. We had lunch early, with time after, to rest.My comp. said he had a bad headache.When we finally left, he got after me for not telling him to go work. What would that have been like ? "Oh! My head hurts! I need to rest." "Nope. Let´s work." yeah, that´s just asking for trouble. So it was my fault we left late. We taught our 2ndlesson to Roxana. She´s a bit of a slow learner. But once she gets it, it´s there. She understands she needs the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and a new baptism. She knows Christ´s church was lost. Today we taught about faith. She feels she has weak faith. We promised it would grow through daily prayer, Scripture study...and going to church. She was fine with the first two. But "Church" was her buzz word, and she holed up.But she´ll get there, I think. Then, we taught Thomas the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. I´d never taught the Law of Chastity to a kid, and found myself at a loss for words. My comp. took over, ask,ing, "Do you know what the word "sexual" refers to?" I just slapped my forehead with my palm. SUPER SMOOTH. We then dropped off our dirty laundry.
Wednesday: Today was really great, and ended really well. We got up and both took our showers. My comp. ate some oatmeal before his shower.It was funny because he didn´t want cold showers anymore. He boiled some water and mixed it with some cold.Next thing I know, I hear a shout fromthe bathroom.Not enough cold water, I guess. When he finished, he said his stomach hurt from his oatmeal and he went to lie down. I studied until lunchtime. I love personal study. I wonder if I´ll like studying for College as much. I better! We had lunch with some converts who just completed a year in the Church. they´re going to get sealed this Friday! they´re so happy. they also just got their Patriarchal Blessings last week. their name´s are pedro and Roxana. We rested for a bit, before going to meet with the Ward Missionaries. We then split up to go visit inactive recent converts. We visited a Sister from Ecuador. She lives in one of the many sheds that the Gov´t built for victims ofthe Earthquake. She´s inactive because someone gave her a box of food to help her, along with an offensive message. At least,she found it offensive. I´d imagine it had said something supportive. She just came off rather prideful. Our Ward Mission Leader was withme.he told my comp. to meet us at the Church at a certain hour, and he wasn´t there. theBrother kind of chewed him out, and Elder aparicio tried to chew HIM out. Eventually, we found out there had beena miscommunication and all was forgiven. But as soon as we were alone, my comp. got after me for not supporting him. So then we talked THAT out. Imentioned all this successful arguing was really preparing us to be good husbands.I told him every one of his comps. has an attribute of his future wife,but that HE had to choose which one to see.Of me, he said, "You´re really good at memorizing things." *forehead-slap* I toldhim that didn´t count so he said,"Youreally know theScriptures." Same vein, but I guess it´s okay. I said I like his desire to keep improving, regardless of being imperfect.
Thursday: Today was kind of tough in the afternoon. This companionship is really hard.I got up and was studying when my comp. got up. He feels really bad for having slept in,so tomorrow we´re for sure going to get up on time. I called the Missionaries in Los Angeles to see what was thestatus on scarlet´s baptism. They said she´d just barely passed her interview, and that she´d had to move it from Saturday to Sunday, because she´d be travelling in Santiago.Well that´s great. So I planned out all the things we´ll need. I´m going to have to pay for my comp. ´cause he doesn´t want to pay for something he has nothing to do with. We had lunch with an awesome family: The Varrigas family. the brother is really funny, and the Sister´s food was SO good! while we ate, their son alternated between his xbox 360 kinect and his PS3. yes, the food wasn´t the only reason I was drooling. After lunch,wepiocked up baptismal clothes for Thomas. elderKuhn, our district Leader, did the Interview. it was his first one,and he did great! :) After that,I got permission from Pres.to travel on Sunday. My comp. and I had our biggest argument yet, and we resolved that, too. So things are good. Keep us in your prayers.
Friday: today was a good day. Things with my comp. got marginally better. I found out thatwhen he says things that are kind of rude, he wants me to laughbecause he´s just kidding, even though he´s not. We had lunch with an RM who is SUPER awesome. He got back from his Mission to Bolivia a year ago.He got sealed int heTemple 6 months ago. his name´s eduardo. he´s a real jokester. He was making fun ofme being trunky, and of Eelder aparicio for not having half my tiem. I teasedhim a little bit, too. Afterward, he said he wanted to see the same smile I was wearing when I was messing with him, when he messes with me. So I got a better idea of how to act. He got sick in the afternoon, in the tunny, so we stayed in. I got bored. Later, we went to Las Salinas to Interview their Investigator for baptism. It was my first one as a Zone Leader. My comp. said it was tradition that i pay for the bus farethere. Lame. I Interviewed an elderly man, named Hector. He has some memory problems, buthe was eager to obey all his commandments. Plus, his family´s member, so he´ll be alright. We had our baptism at 8:00. Thomas had been waiting for this ever since he turned 8. He´s such a good boy. His mom was so happy for him. Everything got awkward when Hno. marcos, for whom his wife has a restraining order, showed up. He was so desperate to see hisfamily. the baptism went really well. thomas´s aunt gave an emotional message afterward. then I bore my testimony. It started to rain, and Hna. Raquel, Thomas´s mom, invited us to have some cake at their place. Oh! I forgot to say that when I shared a Scripture with Hno. Eduardo after lunch, he said it was just what he needed. Inspiration!!!
Saturday: today was a beautiful day. It was still raining in the morning, and it set the temperature for the rest of theday. After our usual study,w e bought more gas. Do you know what that MEANS?! I had my first warm shower in almost 4 months!!! Oh my goodness, it was so good. Here, we play with the Youth on Saturdays, so we can get some Investigators. Because of therain, we endedup playing Ping Pong inside. My comop. is really good.When we got back, we added more minutes on our phone. Elder Aparicio asked how much I wanted to load. I said $2. but when we got there, he asked the lasdy for $7 worth, and asked me for another dollar (so to speak). When we got back, I wrote it along with all teh other money he owes me. He saw I was keeping track and got offended. then, I remembered I had cancelled lunch ´cause we were SUPPOSED to be travelling today. He said since I was the one to cancel, I had to pay for lunch. I woouldn´t do that to himm,and I asked him to pay for himself.when he refused, I suggested he just pay from his debt and subtract from his tab. he got offended again and paid me backabout $10 in the equivalent of pennies, and I bought us lunch. then, a Sister called, telling us to come over, andthat she hadlunch waiting. Itwas Hna. Varrigas. She´s so good. by the time I finished THAT lunch, Iwas so full that I was sick. She could tell and told me to lie down. Twice in a week. How embarassing. Thenw e visited Aurora, our Eternal Investigator. We spoke with her and her family. Then, we played a mini game of soccer in her street out front. She´s a Grandma, and her grandkids were swarming, and it was just fun. Then, we shared a Scripture and prayer.
sunday: today was amazing! I woke up and asked Hna. Raquel if she could bring my memory card,which I´d left in her house, to church. When we´d gotten to church, we were called up to confirm Thomas. I got to do it. I was also called to bless the water. After Church, a Sister told me that when I said the blessing, it was as if she was caught up to Heaven. A little extreme, but very flattering. Daniel Guiñazú said he´d felt a spirit that was higher than the usual. Eduardo Maldonado is really awesome. He said he´d make a photocopy of his study journal for me. We met up with Elder Burch and switched comps. I just love Elder Burhc. He´s one of my favorite comps. It was a nice refresher from how things have been. We had a nice 2-hour drive in the bus, just talking. On our way to the Chapel, we stopped by Hna. Pinar´s, to make sure she´d be there, at the baptismm. She was so happy to see us both. I said hi to lots of beloved members at the church and I was sure it couldn´t get better, but then Scarlet and Gustavo came in, married, andI kenw Heaven was there with us. When Scarlet saw me, shestarted crying, and I started crying ´cause we were sohappy. I baptized her and it got even better. We tried to hustle out, but it was hard. Hna. Pinar was like, "That´s my son! I´m his mamita!" She loves me so much. Hna. Marita has always been jealous and (apart from throwing Hna. Pinar the stink-eye) offered to drop us off at the Terminal. There weren´t any more buses available until tomorrow, so the family offered us dinner:french fries and beef. yum. I finally met Mario, who was in my HOUSE, and met my FAMILY He´s awesome, and we talked about gringo stuff. he said I look like my dad. TRUNKY. We´re spending the night with my grandson, Elder Tholl, and Elder Williams. Elder tholl looks like Elder Kemp.