Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Little Thing Like Prayer

Hello there family and friends.  This week was a guddun.

Well I’m not too sure if I told you guys last week but my comp Elder Senzig and I are really FUN.  No but for real we have a lake real close to the house that is about 6.5 miles around so we got up at sunrise and went on a bike ride around the lake.  It took about 45 minutes and it was sweet.  I’m totally gonna be doing it every P-Day for my exercise.

We went to a member’s house and he showed us a huge zit thing that he has on his arm.  I forgot what he was calling it but I shook his hand and then they always say goodbye to us with a hug and a kiss if they are men.
So when we left the house my comp was like "hey man did you know that he had staff infection on his arm...?"  I was like "nope... why is that important?" and then he proceeded to tell me that staff is spread through the oils of the body... and that Hermano touched me a good bit... so the chances of me getting it are pretty good.  You could say I would have beat Lance Armstrong in a race home to scrape off my skin where he touched me.  I ain’t gettin no staff.

We started out a lesson with a fighting family.  It was super super great. Then I tried doing a little question to help them listen more and it was like letting a trained bear out of the cage.  Usually it works so well and it cooperates.  But every once in a while it just goes crazy and tears everybody that it sees to shreds.  The question that I asked was definitely the second type.  We were pinned down in that house for the next 2 hours trying to hide from the bear. 

We found out this week that a member sold another person’s house without their consent while they were on vacation.  Welcome to Argentina.

We told a menos activo that we were going to his house to pick him up on Sunday.  He was super stoked and told us that he would be ready.  So Sunday came around and we went to his house to go help him out and see if he wants to come with us.  When we got there we saw him asleep outside.  We clapped, and clapped, and clapped... for probably 5 minutes.  I didn’t think it was possible but he was more passed out sleeping than I was when I was younger.  So finally his son comes home and we asked him if he could wake up his dad.  He walked over, found a wine bottle next to him and said "I don’t think he’s gonna be able to make it..." Dang it... 

Buuuttt... the good news is that even though he didn’t come to church we had 20 people come to the branch for the first time!!! WOOO!!!  I’m all riled up.

Today we had our zone activity where we had an egg toss and played some games and we had to walk about 15 kilometros to get there and back.  Haha we walked so much.  On a scale of not far to far, I would say pretty dang far.  We also had a little bit of time to kill so I suggested that we played lava monster on the playground.  Did 20 grown men end up playing lava monster on the kid playground? Yes. There were some little kids watching us like we were crazy. Whacha doin here little kids? Ya’ll can’t play here, Don’t you know this is our turf?

Also when we were coming back I lost my wallet with all of my cards, money, license, passport copy, 2 bank cards, DNA, just some important stuff.   So I was freaking out. We started stopping all of the busses asking if they can let us look cause they do a little loop around the block and we couldn’t find it anywhere. So finally I did a little prayer asking for an answer.  I don’t care what it is, just an answer.  And then it came to my mind "You lost it.  It’s just paper that you can always replace.  If God wants you to have it He will help you find it.  If not, there is a reason for it." I sat pondering on that response that I shouldn’t be so stressed out, but if I didn’t find it, it may serve as a lesson.
15 minutes later we got a call.  We answered it and I heard a voice "Elder Merkley?" we started talking and I found out that it was a buddy from my MTC group named Elder Whetten.  He told me that he found my wallet on the bus and that he had it in his hands at that moment.  I just thought to myself "Thanks big man yet again."

So we had a super sick week finding new people to teach.  You could say the last couple of weeks have been like trying to find a needle in a haystack—a haystack that is about 15 miles long. And called Monte. 

This week we were riding by this house and a guy yelled at us "God bless ya!" So we did a little turn around and went and talked to him.  He wasn’t that interested but his sister, Liliana, started talking to us.  She said that she has 2 little girls and wants to start going to go to a church to help her kids have a better future. We taught her about the church and we taught her about praying and even before we invited her she said "I’m going to pray every single day."  Well... that makes our job easy.

The second person, Oscar, was a reference from an investigator.  He only had like 10 minutes to talk the first time so we got there and taught him how to pray and then we headed out.
The next time we went he said "Ya I’m reading and praying every day! I feel great! When do you guys have the reunions?"  We just looked at each other in pure shock... WHO ARE YOU!??!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!?!! 

The last one is a family who had a son try to commit suicide this last week.  We went and they only had a couple of minutes so we also taught them how to pray.   We gave a sweet prayer and then when we finished, they were all crying.

It’s interesting to see how such a little thing like prayer can help so many different people in different situations—whether it’s a lost wallet, a worried mom, a recently divorced father, or a family who is passing through hard times.  Such a little thing can change our day and help us think more clearly.  

In Jeremiah 29:12-14 it says

 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord

Prayer really can change our whole day or even whole week.  If we can just accept what comes and realize that God will guide us towards the best life, it really does take a turn for the best.  If we do it we can and will feel a change and a different happiness. If not we will stay the same as always so why not do it? God is listening.

I love you all and I hope everything is good. Take care
Elder Merkley 

Harry Potter's Room

Well, another week has come and gone.  Things are so sweet here.  My comp is trying to teach me how to sing still.  

We were going back to the pension one night and we saw this guy walking super slow in front of the pension and he kept on looking at us.  I thought to myself as Hans Solo said so often "I’ve got a bad feeling about this...” So I told my comp "Keep going, we are gonna ride past the pension." So we kept going and as we were passing that guy he looked right at us and he said, "Hey guys! What’s up! Ya’ll Mormons?"

We stopped those little bikes and turned on a dime to talk to him. Turns out that he is from Seattle teaching English here in the summer.  Named Nathaniel.  What a great guy.

We were going to have a reunion de distrito in Monte and then the whole schedules got screwed up so we just ended up making pancakes in the pension with 8 elders.  Yay!  FUNNEST MEETING EVER!

We had a meeting in the morning for some Elders this week but we are 6 hours away from where they were going to have it so they just told us that we should just stay where we were and Skype them.  So we went to a member’s house and made some maple syrup (thanks Katie), with peaches, cream, apples, banana, and French toast.  It was one of the best breakfasts that I have had in a long long time:)

We then went into a small room that kinda reminded me of Harry Potter’s room, just with a window... and legos... and tried to listen to the meeting.  I say tried cause it was all muffled and it sounded like they were behind 3 brick walls. 
Were we determined to stay there all 7 hours? Yes. Did we understand a single word? That would be a definite no.  2ND FUNNEST MEETING EVER!

We had some people come to the pension and kill the many families of spiders that aren’t paying rent here.  So they sprayed some stuff and they said in a couple of hours it will take effect.  We went and slept and then in the morning I found 3 or 4 dead spiders on me.  What a great way to wake me up in the morning!

We were studying this morning and a bird drilled our window.  Sooner or later Mr. Clean is gonna have a lawsuit on his hands for cleaning those windows a little too well.

We got new bikes.  On which this morning we woke up bright and early at 5:30 and we went for a bike ride around the lagoon here that is about 7 miles.  We ate a little snack at the halfway point but it was super cloudy so we didn’t get to many pictures.  Either way.  Coming soon pictures of the bike ride.

I ate lamb.

I learned how to grab flies out of the air.  There is a dragonfly flying around my head in this moment.

I found 300 pesos in my pocket.

Well... to finish off the week yesterday it started showering, just pouring water so we, with our brand new bikes that we have had for less than 24 hours, were riding home from the house of a member cause she gave us a little tupper of food for lunch.
I had that food in my right hand and the other hand on the brake.  We were going home calmly in the streets when we saw a car booking it on the left.  Thinking quickly We had to pull the e-brake on the bikes to avoid him but what I didn’t realize is that the left hand brake is for the front wheel so as I squeezed those new brakes in the rain I stopped dead in my tracks, as if I was hitting an invisible wall.  I then flew threw the air like an acrobat with the food in my hands and landed in a puddle with my neck down to my feet completely covered in water... the bad news? I broke my new bike. The good news? I saved the food. I would still count that as a win.

As we were riding home laughing about what just happen and the mass of people who saw me fall with style I thought about a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 78:19 that says

19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

And D & C 46:32
 And ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with.

Many times we have little problems and trials in life.  But it is from these things that we have to learn.  We shouldn’t hold things against people for what they have done, just bless God for the chance to learn and trust that he can help us.  I am learning everyday and be it a day happy or a day full of hardship I am grateful that the Lord has put me here.

I hope that you can all see the good things that the Lord has given you.
And I also hope that you have a great week.  
Elder Merkley