Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I'm in Pili Now! April 13,2015

I'm back in Camarines Sur. We are in the Capital. We are about twenty minutes east (I think ) of Naga. We have a ward here too, so that should be a nice change of pace from Basud. It is nice to have our own chapel. The area is really close to Isarog which is pretty cool too. I will have to get some pics. My new companion's name is Elder Tiongco. He is from Davao, one of the biggest cities in the Philippines. He is really nice.

The work seems like it is going pretty well. We have at least four baptisms lined up for April 18th. Pretty sweet. I'm excited to start finding like crazy.

The other night after our planning, I don't know why, but I just started singing hymns by myself at my desk. The first hymn I opened to really struck me. It was number 165, "Abide with me, 'tis eventide". The lyrics really comforted me. It just reminded me that I'm never alone even though I am all the way here in the Philippines in a new place with new people around me.

1. Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest,
Within my home abide.

O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

2. Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.

3. Abide with me; 'tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.

I thought a lot about the second verse and about how God's "earnest words have filled my soul and kept me near [His] side" during general conference. I felt so comforted to know that I'm not alone.

I just have one short thing to say about what I liked from general conference. I really liked "The Music of the Gospel" by Wilford W. Andersen. I really feel like there have been times in my life where I've been just dancing without hearing the music. I don't really know how to explain it, but I just felt like this talk was so profound. We really need to follow the commandments and fulfill all of our responsibilities not just because it is our responsibility, but because we love our Heavenly Father or because of who we are. It was really wonderful to me.

That's all for now. I hope you all have an awesome week.

I love you tons!

Elder Merrill
 Ben's new district in Pili

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Transferred!! April 6, 2015

Can you believe it? My time in Basud has come to an end... It's been 24 weeks which makes for just less than 6 months if I am correct. We have a lot of great things coming up in Basud, so it will be hard to leave. We are continuing to see a lot of progression from our 7th day adventist family. It is really amazing to see the atonement work in someone's life like that. I am kind of sad that I won't be here for the baptism, but I know that they will be in good hands. Sister wasn't able to go to church this week because of a family reunion, but she should be able to go over the next few weeks. Bishop also filled out this travel info sheet thing that the area presidency requested. Hopefully we will be able to get a group going here soon. It is really hard to not know where my next area will be...

I really don't know what else to say. I am really super nervous to find out where my last area will be. I think this email might have to be a short one. Work was really weird this week because we had curfews everyday from wednesday to saturday because of holy week. Filipinos make easter a week-long celebration, which is pretty cool. (Probably just the catholic tradition) There were tons of little crosses set up all over basud and little scenes from the Savior's life. That is definitely something that I really apprieciate about the people here. Even if many of them really aren't sure what they believe in as Catholics or whatever they are, they all believe in Christ.

If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend the Church's easter video, Because He Lives. We have been showing it to our members and investigators here and it has been a really effective way to share the gospel.

Here's some links:

http://www.mormon.org/easter if you want it in English.


http://www.mormon.org/tgl/paskongpagkabuhay if you are feeling adventurous.

I know that our Savior lives and loves us and that He will help us to overcome our weaknesses if we are humble and do our best.

Love you tons!

Elder Merrill

Another Crazy Week in Basud March 29, 2015

The work was ok this week and our adventist investigator couple came to church again. We were really happy to see them there, and the fellowshipping was actually really good. Brother said that he felt really welcome at church.

Our adventist investigators are really awesome though. They told us that they thought the meeting was ok and their youngest daughter got stuffed super full of treats and thought that the church was her new school. That was pretty funny. We are very thankful for all of the wonderful people that the Lord has put in our path.

Finding is going kind of slow. There are just a lot of people that aren't willing to give us time to share the Gospel with them. We are just moving along though. I just think no good can come from getting discouraged.

Elder Romanovitch and I are actually like two peas in a pod now. He was just as into Pokemon as I was before the mission if you can believe it... And loves Supertramp. Pretty cool, right?

Next week we will know who is going to stay in Basud (I'm pretty sure I'm going to be out of here, but I guess it isn't over until the APs sing) I'm definitely going to miss this place.

Have an awesome week!
Love you tons!

Elder B. Morris Merrill