Monday, August 25, 2014

Baptisms 8/24/2014


This week was really great. We were able to baptize Rey this Saturday, which was really neat. It is always a wonderful experience to be a part of such an important part of someone else's life. We also set up a really cool display board up by the big college here in Goa, called PSU. We were able to meet a lot of people here, many of whom live in our area. We have taught a few of them already, and they seem pretty interested, which is really cool.

We actually had a funny experience last night when we went and contacted one of the people that we met up by PSU. The people we met were 14 year old twin girls who are Catholic. They were happy to let us in and seemed really interested, but one of their neighbors who was at their house kept telling us that they were born Catholic and so they want to die Catholic and that we all believe in the same God, so it doesn't really matter which religion we are because we are all worshiping the same God... Elder Green asked a really good question about if a person was born into a family who doesn't believe in God at all. They just kind of ignored his question though. The twins actually seemed interested, so we will have to just go back when their neighbor isn't there hanging out. 

We had a newer/ former investigator come to church this week too. She is about 35 years old and her mother is a member who just started coming back to church about  3 or 4 weeks ago. She has a lot of kids who are pretty young, and her husband isn't around anymore, so I think it was a really hard choice to decide to come to church. I think she is really glad that she came. We are really excited to see if she will continue to progress. Member referrals and part members are really the best way to find people to teach. 

Love you tons!

Elder Benjamin Merrill

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baptisms are Nigh 8/17/2014


Things are going well here in Goa. We are having a few baptisms on Saturday :) It has been really neat to work with these guys through their whole conversions. I feel bad for Elder Taylor though, because we found both of them together and he had to leave the transfer before they are getting baptized. The girl getting baptized is really great and already has tons of friends in the church. She actually went and sat by herself at church this week, which kind of made us nervous, but almost all of the young women who arrived after her all went and sat by her, which was awesome. The guy we are teaching is doing great too. 

We are just putting some finishing touches on a display board that we are going to use to help us find new investigators. We really need some new investigators. We decided to go with Dad's 'Ask me Anything' idea. Hopefully it will yield some good results.  We are really going to focus on finding new people to teach because we have been falling behind on that a little bit with the baptisms coming up this week. We've already got a few referrals and such, so that should be great.

I'd also like to give Jessie a happy birthday shout out too. Happy Birthday, Jessie! I can't believe you are out of primary now!

Not really much else that I can think of. Sorry it is kinda short, but Elder Green is getting too hot in here and is ready to leave.

I know that the gospel is true and na yung simbahan natin is yung only totoong simbahan dito sa buong mundo. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagkakataon ito na ibinigay nya sa akin para umunlad dito sa mission kahit masyadong mahirap sya minsan. Alam ko na para sa atin talaga yung mga pagsubok na darating sa ating lahat habang nandito tayo sa mundo. Alam ko na binabasbasan tayo ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng mga pagsubok and na para sa atin yung lahat ng mga utos nya. Kung susundin natin yung halimbawa ng anak nya si Jesucristo, makakabalik tayo sa kanya sa kabilang buhay. 

I love you guys tons!
Padangat ko kamung marhay!

Elder Benjamin Merrill

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Keeps on Going and Going 8/10/2014


Nothing too new or exciting to report on this week for the most part. We are on track to have two investigators get baptized on the 23rd of August. I am super excited! They are on track to doing really well. One man's girlfriend actually moved to manila for until December, which made us kind of nervous because we were afraid he was going to stop going to church, but he still comes, which is really neat. He really is converted to the Gospel. I am super excited to see what good they will do as they progress in the Gospel.

We also have two other investigators who are really cool.  We are still working on getting the parents to listen too, which I think might be pretty tough... They live in our farthest area which means about a 60 minute walk, but it is always worth it. They have been keeping all of their commitments and coming to church and everything. They even know that the Book of Mormon is true. They said they prayed and asked if it was true and they felt a warm feeling/ a good feeling. I am sure they will continue to progress as long as their father continues to give them a ride to church every week. 

I know that the Gospel is true and I love missionary work!

I hope you guys all have a good week!

Love you tons,
Elder Benjamin Merrill

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

8/3/2014 19 Na Ako!


I can't believe it's already been a whole year since I turned 18... I still don't feel like I am 19 years old yet... It's crazy to think about where I would be right now if they hadn't changed the mission age. I'm really glad that I decided to serve my mission at 18 and I know that I have definitely grown immensely this past year. It really is neat to look back at the past year and really see how much I've grown and learned. I have learned a lot. On a less spiritual side, I will tell you what we did for my birthday. We went to Bigg's for lunch and Elder Seegmiller told them it was my birthday just to be funny, and they actually ended up coming and singing to me... It was alright because I got a free cake (like a small one) out of it and it was super delicious. For dinner, I made spaghetti for everyone, but ended up putting way too much salt in it... It was not good... Everyone tried to be really nice about it but it was really bad... It was a really fun birthday though. I actually spent a long time that day showing/ telling my new companion, Elder Green about the area.

Elder Green is from West Jordan, Utah, and has been out for about 13 months now. He is really nice and it turns out that we have a lot in common. Our fathers both served missions in Korea, and we both played baseball (though I am sure he is way better than me at it), and we both really liked reading books back in the day (Harry Potter, etc.) One of my favorite things that we have in common is that we both really want to find a lot of new investigators. I am pretty excited to have Elder Green here to go finding with because we have actually seen some really good results as far as finding goes so far this transfer. 

We have found one family that seems like it has a lot of potential. The father of the family is actually a less active member and has three kids, ages 17 - 20, and only one of them has been baptized.  They said that we can come back and teach them, so we are really excited for that. We talked to quite a few others too that weren't too interested, but we are really excited, because baptizing Tatay's children could be a perfect way to bring him back to the church, and the family really seems super friendly. 

More good news, we had three investigators come to church! It was awesome. We are on track to baptize someone on the 16th of August, and two others shouldn't be too far behind. Maybe I will tell you a little about another person we met.  He is a very interesting person because he is 16 years old and lives with his siblings and grandmother. It sounds like he has somewhat of a tough family situation. He is really a nice person though, and really is interested in finding the truth. He actually told us the last time we visited him about how his aunt is trying to get him interested in Islam. We told him just to pray about the Book of Mormon and come to church and that he would get his answer.  We were so happy to finally see him at church this week. He doesn't really have a testimony for sure yet, but he earnestly desires to find out for himself what his true. I really admire him, and I know that he will receive an answer to his prayers as he continues to earnestly seek for the truth.  

I love you all tons and I know that the Gospel is true!

Elder Benjamin Merrill