Monday, December 26, 2011

Great to talk to you guys!

Well, I can´t believe that Christmas finally came and went!! It seems really weird because I was waiting for that day and now it came and went. :) But it was really good. The almoço (lunch) was good and the dinner was really good. And oh yeah, skyping was awesome too :P hahah. Man, it was really really weird talking in English like that. It was kind of strange haha. oh btw hahahahahahah. Just thought I would throw some more "haha´s" in there :P (here I wrote haha but I decided to erase it)
Did you say hi for me to the Eagars and Folsoms? I hope so :) haha. Oh yeah, What are the years that phil went on his mission? I forgot. Thanks :) Also, I will be including a photo of Sister Bailey. So she really is my second cousin? is it? I already forgot. Oh hey! We got announcements that if we keep our apartments clean, we will recieve microwaves!! So you could send microwave stuff soon :) (well by soon i mean the next package I don´t know when that will be) but I´ll let you know for sure if and when we receive them! So another thing that I would like to receive in packages I just thought of is deodorant. The deodorant here is just not as good, I´ll use it, no worries there, but it´s just not as good.
It was really cool to speak portuguese with phil! It was just pure awesome :) And when I get off my mission we can just do it all the time :) yay! haha. Oh yeah, also, can you keep the general conferences ensigns, I´m reading them here, but I would also like them to have at home! Thanks :)
So I already told you guys the fire story, but I´ll re-tell it for everyone else. So, I woke up one morning and did all my morning stuff up till I had to take a shower right? I went in and started the shower and put shampoo in my hair and all that. But while I was scrubbing out the shampoo from my hair, I noticed that the whole room turned green and blue and there was an electrical sound of some sort going off. I look up and lo and behold there is a fire above my head and the shower head. So... I start screaming like a little girl and trying to grab my towel and open the door and sparks fly down and then I turn off the water. Fire is gone and the sparks are gone and I´m out of the bathroom in my towel with all the other elderes looking at me with shocked faces. By the way, shampoo was still in my hair, so i had to reenter the shower hahahaha. There ´s my interesting story for the week! hahaha.
Oh Grandma is always thinking of others. I love getting the annual 25 dollars from her :) It´s awesome! :) Tell her thanks and I´ll will too :)
Like you said mom, two years isn´t long at all, i´m about to make 6 months and then i become a "sister missionary" as we call it hahah. I hope you understand why. But these have been some of the most growing 6 months of my life and made me truly realize what is important in my life.
I got Jordan Degraw's address! The person I saw is Elder Adams (I´m about 80-90 percent sure his name is Jeff), but it was really cool :) I´m sure she knows who it is because he was at their house a lot! So what are you guys and the phil and Corinne going to be doing? Hey, btw dad I´m jealous of the rise of the planet of the apes, I´ll to watch that. But i already decided my first movie hahahah. Decided before I even left on my mission: The Hobbit! hahah.
Anyways it was really really good to be talking with you guys, especially through skype it was a really good expierence and now I´ll be working my heart out knowing that you guys still remember who I am ;) hahahah. just kidding. Anyways, I can´t believe I still had lots to say, but I shall end it now and continue next week! Have a happy new years and remember who you are :P haha. Love you guys!
Com Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill 

Monday, December 19, 2011

One more week?!


Okay I swear I´m not trunkie but I´m just really excited to be talking to you guys in just one week! haha. But, I don´t want to leave, I´m loving it too much :P hahaha. Sorry ;)

So this week was a hard week! We have been cutting people left and right and trying to find new people. But let me tell you, it is not easy. haha. Not an easy task at all! haha. But that being said we are moving along. We are working with a family that is progressing really well. In fact the two sons will be baptised this sunday! Christmas :) And the mom too, if she progresses with stop to smoke! haha.

Last p day, we ate churrasco! BBQ! It was so good :) loved it! Just thought I would let you know. I write down all the stuff I want to say to you guys and that was one of them... but I don´t remember the significance why... hahah.

My new companion is Elder Diniz and he is just awesome, our personalities mesh really well and he is a really hard worker! :) This is actually his last transfer so I might stay here another transfer! Who knows! it´s crazy! haha. But really I don´t really want to leave this area too much, I´m loving the people here and it will be hard to leave once I have to! Can you believe that I have 5 months on the mission? It´s crazy!! haha.

So this...Quarta-feira...I honestly can´t remember what it´s called in english right now......... wait......Wednesday! Gosh.. that was sad. Anyways hahah. This wednesday we have a conference with allll the missionaries in our mission. That´s like 189 missionaries. a lot haha. But I will be able to receive your packotes and stuff there! :) So just wondering, are you guys going to open up presents only with each other?

Alright, thanks for the skype info!!! We will be skyping around 5 pm sao paulo time. if it isn´t working i will be calling around that time too. just keep skype open all day and close :P haha. So 5pm like 10 or 11? I´m not sure but I think 11. just be prepared at any time in the morning, okay? haha. I´m glad about the conference calling thing. I´m sure it will work perfectly. I mean i do have the lord on my side. hahahah. just kidding :P but I had too. haha. so eldergman.merril got it!

Anyways, Josh Tanner is going to Russia?!?! Crazy! hahah. That´s awesome! haha. How´s he and taylor? And Jared! that bum :P Ainda eu não recebi uma carta dele. Still, I haven´t recieved a letter from him. haha. But good, he best write me ;) hahah. Tell me where he goes when he goes. And Jordan Degraw! He´s in the field now right? I´ll want to get his address!! Thanks!

So Uncle Paul and the gang are moving huh?! That´s crazy!!! But I miss them, it´s been too long, so now I can visit them more, because before, I couldn´t enter texas hahaha. just kidding haha.

Anyways I don´t really have a lot more to say but Dad, like always, yes this email "found" me well and healthly haha. You´re funny :P haha. I´ll be talking to you guys this next sunday! 5pm here, more or less 11 there (I think!) Skype, I will download it where I will be using it! if it doesn´t work I will be calling too! okay? Sweet! Talk to you then!! :)

Com grande amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bad after bad, but then good!


So I´m staying here in limoeiro! Thought so! haha. And I´m thinking I will stay another transfer after too, only because my new companion (Elder Diniz), this is his last transfer!! Man, you don´t know how much you know or don´t know of portuguese until your companion cannot speak english with you haha. It´s the true test! But Im really surprised by what I can say and bascially understand all. It really amazes me how the Lord works in our lives!

This week was a really rough week! Almost everyday, all our compromissos...appointments haha... fell and no one was wanting to hear our word. At one point I was getting really discouraged and just thinking, Man if it is going to be like this the whole time, this will be a rough ride. But I never let myself get too down. Everyday was a new day and I tried to give 100%. But let me tell ya, it´s pretty difficult sometimes. Anyways, one day we were trying to contact some membros less actives and out of all the people we tried looking for that day we only found one. Antônio! Anyways, I'll talk about him a little later. Just know he was really happy to see us and gave us a reference! So, we made an appointment with him and the referencia for sunday. friday night, we visited Kiara (I don´t know if i already mentioned her or not, but she is a girl that has 11 years and she was to be baptized sunday!!) So we visted her and her mom. Her mom still is smoking. Anyways Kiara was at the house of her aunts, so we went to find her and we were doing all of this in the pouring rain. It poured rain like none other this entire week, twas craziness! hahah. We found the aunts house and kiara and did an interview with kiara. She was really discouraged and the aunt did not like us, but she didn't say, sure did show it! She kept on telling Kiara that you have to think about this. Think about it! She didn´t want her to get baptized and fall. So we told her  that is why we are here! But... I don't know... Just know that Satan is working just as hard as the missionaries! But she said she would get baptized and that I would baptize her. So I was very excited! It would be my first baptism that I would actually baptize. Well the next day came and that night we followed up with kiara. I don´t know what happened but she had no desire at all to be baptized. That was one of biggest discouragments on my mission so far. Just because she had been sooooooo strong and ready to be baptized, but Satan is always right there ready to place doubt in anyone's mind. Her and her mom went to church though but she didn´t get baptized.

To make a bad story good! We saw Antônio at church! And he hadn´t gone forever! Also, when we had a lesson with Sonha (the reference) and Atônio, Sonha was really excited about it all and she has 2 kids. I really believe that God was showing us where to go when we chose atônio to visit, because he also said, in 11 years he had never received a visit from members or missionaries and no one bothered to help him. But it just was really special to him that we came and made a visit with him. It just makes me really happy when we can help people like that! Anyways, long story but ended to be a good week!

Really quickly about sacarment that I wanted to say last time! So, I just was learning more about it and I realized something. If we think back to adam and eve, they were living with God. The whole plan is that we were to come here to gain bodies and experiences. God wants us to have all the blessings that he is enjoying right now. But there´s a problem. We don´t have bodies and the knowleadge. We couldn´t progress. God choose Jesus Christ to be our Savior. But why would he choose a Savior if we hadn´t fallen yet? Because it was part of the plan. It had to be part of the plan. But because adam and eve ate the fruit, two things happened. Two deaths: Physical and Spritual. With these two we cannot live with heavenly father again. But Christ was sent to save us from those two. Remember the scripture moises 1:39? immortality and eternal life right? well Christ gave every single person in the world immortality through the atonement! When he was ressurrected, he gave every other person the opportunity to be resurrected too! We all will be! Thus we recieve immortality. Everyone is saved from phyiscal death!! And the other spirtual death? We are saved from this and we can recieve eternal life (if will follow christ), by the other part of the atonement! Christ suffered from our sins in the garden and died for our sins on the cross. Because of this, we allllllll have the chance to repent of our sins. So, what does this have to do with the sacrament? Everything! Because the bread represents his body and that he was resurrected and we all can be too. The water represents his blood and that he payed the price for sins and that we can have eternal life too, if we follow him. So anyways, I guess it just really hit me that really the sacrament is about the atonement and that the atonement saves us from the two deaths. Anyways, I hope that made sense hahaha.

This is how Christmas will work. I get to choose a place to talk with you guys (some members house) and I will tell you what time I will be calling in an email, so be checking because I don´t know when I will be doing it!! But basically that! I am very excited :) Say hi for me to Taylor! :) I will be waiting patiently for the package! :)

It sounds like you guys are having too much fun without me ;) hahaha. I´m jealous, but really I´m loving it here that I will be staying here :P hahaha. Yes dad you can sell it! Doesn´t fit me anymore, but I think I will get another when I get back, I want to start up again. haha.

She visited him? Man that´s good! but sad that it took that long! Sorry I realize my thoughts don´t make sense to others reading this... hahah. But About brother Tally hahahah. But that´s really good to hear about that :)

Anyways, this week will be really good and I´ll try and get some pictures out sometime, maybe today, lets see! haha. But anyways, I love you guy lots! And keep staying in the gospel :) Bye! :)

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

p.s. I will be eating churrasco today! (BBQ) I´m excited :]

Monday, December 5, 2011

December?! How?


que estranho! Já dezembro! Man! It´s so strange that it´s december already! Weird!! So transfers are tomorrow! And the changes are that I will be staying and that elder richins will be leaving. He has been here for... 5 months and I only have 3 months here I think. I think yes. Anyways, it´s realllllllly weird and I really am going to miss him if he does end up leaving (we find out tonight!) I don´t really know what to think of it. But it´s also really good. Good for me to get used to all sorts of people. He really thinks I know my purpose as a missionary and he really thinks that I´m progressing really fast. So that´s good :)

Yesterday was crazy. The championship for soccer here was yesterday and it was wild. I don´t think I can describe it best of what happens. But on a normal game, people will light fireworks off when their team scores a goal. So that´s a normal sound throughout the day. But the game yesterday was between Corintians and the Palmeiras. Two huge teams here in São Paulo. And Corintians won. And this entire area is Corintians. Bascially when they won, there were cars driving super fast constantly honking their horns, fireworks going off every 2 seconds, people running in the streets with Corinitian flags, Winning music playing in every car. (or funk). and just people going crazy. Bascially we had to be in our house at 7 yesterday because of the game. If Corinitians didn´t win, I don´t want to know what would have happened hahaha.

Anyways! Scripture humor: Hebrews 12:8. I´m amused too easily! hahah. So I have almost 5 months on the mission! Isn´t that really weird to think about? I think so! It´s really really strange. hahah. Hey did you get all the pictures? and the zoo ones too? So November was a hard month. We only had one baptism and our goal was 6. But December (even though one week past and one sunday is natal, christmas) will be really really good. Next week, we have a guaranteed baptism. She bascially asked to be baptized. Her mom will be baptized too, but first she has to quit smoking and she is making lots of progress!!! It´s amazing how much the lord works in people´s lives. Like Wilkennia! She had a smoking problem that she never could overcome. But all the sudden we showed up, taught her, and asked her to quit. And she did it in like 4-5 days! The Lord really works with people. This week, we will probably have another baptism, we are going to be visiting her tomorrow or today not sure, and we will commit her to this sunday. She wanted to receive a response, but I think she did this past domingo...Sunday! sorry forgot the word... We are also working with a family that we have been working with for a while. I don´t know what they need at this time... And I don´t want to cut them, because I know they want to be baptized, we just have to show them the necessity of being baptized sooner than later. Anyways, December will be a really good month :)

I´m jealous of the train! And hey if I say something here that would make no sense to other people reading this because I´m responding to your email, probably should clear that up haha. Anyways, the train! You should put it up when I get home too! That would be sweet! :) Thanks :P Jonathan Hokanson is going too?!?! Carumba!! Todo mundo vai estar aqui!! Everyone will be here! So! We still don´t know how Christmas will work exactly... Because, there is a CHANCE (remember CHANCE) that we could skype haha. But right now CHANCE hahah. So don´t count on it for sure! Also, I will go to a house of member´s and call from there. But I really don´t know more than that haha. I´ll try and figure out more sorry!!!

Man! I´m spoiled rotton! Another package :D yay! Oh so I wrote you guys a letter last week, but I didn´t have any money on me, but I will do it this week or next. (Because of transfers I don´t know if i can send it off tomorrow).

Taylor´s coming home?!?!? man I´m worried. Worried because I don´t want my mission to pass that fast hahaha. That´s seriously so crazy!!! Man! So I have a big suggestion!! While reading, have 4 colors! One color for names or referencias to cristo. ..Christ... haha. One for doctrines/principles of Christ. Another for attributes of Christ and another for when christ is talking. You could do it in like a book of mormon azul...gosh But I´ve only done the first two chapters and I have learned way more than ever!!! It´s amazing!!! I really suggest doing it. And remember, that the only time it refers to God and not Christ is when God is testifying about Christ. Most of the time, Christ reveals things to the prophets and speaks for the Father. There´s a doctrine and covenents section that explains this well, but I can´t remember it right now. But Anyways yeah!!

So yes! That is where I live dad! :) Glad you found me :) hahah. That backery, (weird to call it that), is where we eat breakfast a lot haha. I´ll watch the first presidency message next week, I don´t have time now. I need to condense my writing! hahaha. But anyways, I had a message I wanted to share, na verdade... actually, I almost always have a message to share, but I never have enough time to give it justice. But just know it was about the sacrament and just some insights more about it that I will share next week! (if i have time! haha)

Anyways, funny story really quickly. I was learning some words this morning and I read mascara (in english). Now i know what that is, but I had no idea what I was reading. I asked a missionary in my apartment and he took a moment and then said it. I then soon realized I was saying mascara like I should in portuguese and not in english. (ex: the car part like... car and the mas ... like mas in portuguese hahaha..) it was funny. Anyways got to go!!! I love you all :)

Com Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, November 28, 2011



What awesomeness is the mission :P It is awesomeness! :) haha. Yes I do haha a lot mom hahah. But oh well, we´re even. :P So this past week, I felt like I had some of my best lessons with people. I taught the lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I just really did well. The reason for that though is because I taught with the spirit. Nothing else matters if you follow the spirit. I also almost brought myself to tears while testifying it was really weird haha. But it´s a lesson that I have learned out here on the mission. This gospel is sooooooooo true and so important. There is nothing more important than this gospel. Without it, I don´t know where I would be. Because it brings so much peace in my life. Like your favorite scripture mom. John 14:26. It´s true. Oh during my personal study this week I was studying Mosiah and man I swear me and David are on the same brain wave hahaha. the discourse of king benjamim is very good! It is very powerful and man, just read mosiah 2-5. It´s awesome!

Here's something that I think we should all do! Help the missionaries :] hahah. But seriously, do it!!! The missionaries neeeeeed your help!!! Without members help, the work moves slowly. I can really testify to that. But also, feed them. I like that one :) hahah. So this past weekend we had stake conference and my president and his wife spoke at it. They are way awesome!! I seriously wish you could meet them!! He knows so much, it just baffles me. I´ve always wanted to use that word. And now I have. Life = complete. BAM!

Everytime I go on divisions (which I don´t know if you knew about my other division with the Asisstante to the presidente) I learn lots. This week I went on a 2 day division with the LZ. He's way awesome and he works really well. He really is a good example to our district.

So, this past P-day I saw monkies! I went to the zoo/park. It was awesome. And I saw anteaters and other animals, man it was cool haha. I definitely need those p days. Because afterwards it is nothing but helping the people here. Don´t get me wrong, I want nothing more than to do that, but you need a break every once in a while. Or else you go crazy!

I can´t believe this but I have gone from 128-132 pounds to 147-150 pounds. HOLY! haha. I guess I eat a little bit.. hahah. But I don´t look any bigger. Luckily I do execersizes (what the?) every morning so that helps haha. But now I´m like normal weight! YAY! hahah.

Not going to lie my heart jumped while reading this past e-mail. haha. I´m just glad that Grandma is okay :) :). I sure do miss her and her humor hahah. She´s so funny it´s awesome :) haha. Man, I´m feeling rather jealous though hahah. Ruby is awesome and I declare that I want to see her :P hahaha. But it will be worth the wait :) Send those pictures! yay!

Man, you guilt tripped me mom haha. I guess I´ll wait hahah. Waited this long, could wait more! I'll be staying (probably) in limoeiro next transfer anyways haha. (He's talking about opening up his Christmas presents!)

That´s cool that you saw Brother and Sister Adams!! Did you tell them hi for me? Sad that his dad died, but I know they are doing well, because of the gospel. If they just stick to the gospel, peace comes in ways you never expected.

By the way, what did you eat for thanksgiving? I had a makeshift apple pie hahah. with bread hahah. Man dad! You are on fire with your races! Just be careful, don´t overdo yourself! Okay? Thanks :) Anyways, I´m going to try and send some pictures for you guys. I love you guys and the work is moving along here. I have 2 (maybe 3 or 4) guaranteed baptisms for Dezembro so I'm pretty excited. Well, I shouldn´t say guaranteed because that means I wouldn´t have to work. But very very likely! It brings me so happy to see the gospel change people's lives. This week was hard sunday because none of our Recent converts were at church, so that´s always hard to see, but this week, we just got to work with them, get them callings, and help them stay firm in the gospel! I love you all!! Miss you! Today will be a fun p day dad :P haha.

Com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Eu sou muito grato por minha família e todas as bençãos que eu tenho em minha vida!!! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011



I feel like everytime I have less and less to talk about haha. I don´t know why. We are having some good progress with some people here in Limoeiro ward in São Paulo. So I was studying maps this morning of our mission and figuring out some stuff and figured out that we have 11 zones. 4 of them are in São Paulo. The others are in other cities. My Zone is called São Miguel Paulista and my area is called Limoeiro. Honestly the only reason why it is called that is because the ward is called that, but there really isn´t a reason for the ward to be called that it´s funny. Speaking of, we had 124 people in the ward this week. Which is better than last week!! Yay!! Oh so the street that my church is on is Flor de Inverno. So what you want to do is go up that street and follow it till you hit Av. Antônio Louzada Antunes and go left. I live on the corner on Antônio and Av. Mário Alves. There is a bakery right next to my door. I hope that helps!

So we got to go to the temple this past week! It was AWESOME!! I always love going to the temple and I hope I will get other opportunities to go on my mission which means i have to be close. I bought some dvds and other other fun stuff at the temple. AND I ate in the temple. That was weird. But in the bottom part was the cafeteria and I ate there. T´was weird but cool!

I went on another division this week. Once again with the other elder that knows less than me (not his fault, but his visa´s) So I was leading again, which is always weird but I did really good. I made 25 contacts and just felt like I was doing the best I ever have done yet! I even invited a preacher to be baptized. :P We shall see how his prayer went! hahaha.

Also, I learned that you need to always be careful what you say. We talked to some members during lunch like 2 weeks ago and the following sunday we got called into the bishop's office because something that my companion said offended them. He didn´t even mean it in the way they took it, but you just have to be so careful!!!

So last week I tried sending some pictures but I guess they didn´t send. I will try again!!! Which means my other little messages with it too didn´t send so I´ll have to do that. Glad they got my letters! And sorry Aunt Marian! I was responding to letters... hahaha I forgot but next time don´t you worry :P I will write a letter to you AND chip! :P hahaha.

Here in São Paulo they have their "garbage cans" sticking out of their gates so really it wasn't like a garbage can per say but really yeah hahah. Transfers are December 6th!!! And hey do I still need to wait til christmas to open my presents? :P I´m all antsy.. hahah. Hey mom did you know that you started almost all your paragraphs with so. It´s okay I have to think about how to start mine or else I will do that hahah. With the contact solution. So really I had two bottles left when I asked for the solution so I really didn´t go through it ALL when I asked for it :P But I have one of the original´s left now haha. So no worries :P haha.

I loved your Elijah joke dad hahah. I laughed very hard, I think my companion was worried for me :P hahah. I do miss you guys a lot! And I cannot watch Mundo Feliz... Joy to the World... Everytime we do, Eu tenho sauldades de vocês. I miss you guys and Christmas. haha, but it´s okay, because this is the best place to be :) The work is great and I´m working my hardest. It has been the most rewarding thing yet and I can´t wait to see how I will end up in the end :) Thanks for being awesome! :)

Com amor, seu filho, amigo, e irmão,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!!!!!!!!!!!

Grant sent another quick note:

I forgot to mention also! I went on splits with the assitant to the president this week. He lives about 1-2 hours away to I got to spend the night there!! Even though I only spend one day with him, I learned sooooo much and everything that I need to be doing 10X better!! It was really awesome and so grateful for that experience! Loved it!!

Also, Thanks for the contact solution ;) Btw one more story I forgot to ... umm... Tell! yes! So remember José? The crazy guy?!? So we see him just about every other day. it´s really weird hahaha. But the other day he gave us this piece of paper that he created and it was his "prophecies" hahah. I´m not even kidding, it was alllllllll about how having kids is the worst thing ever and every child born after 4/6/2012 (4th of june) with be born with horns and tails hahah. Yeah... He´s crazy!!! hahah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crash! But it didn´t hurt!


Man, I need to take better care of myself haha. So I did a very funny thing last p day after sending off e-mails. So we started our way to a place that is like... costco. Where you can just buy tons of stuff. Anyways, so i was talking to one of the elders here and I wasn´t paying too much attention because I was telling a story, so of course i was animating and all, and the next thing I knew I turned around and saw a telephone ... booth... not really a booth, it´s called big ear here haha, anyways!! So I saw the telephone booth and with ninja skills! I dodged it :P But then I ended splitting my chin open on a trash ... box... that sticks out of the gates on doors hahaha. Lots of blood and I didn´t have to go to the "costco!" Yay! hahah. I have pictures no worries. It didn´t hurt though so that´s good. I didn´t even think it was that bad until I saw it. My companion thought I would have to get stitches, but I didn´t even want to and really I didn´t need them! :) haha. It was funny.

So I got your package! I actually got it the next day after the last p-day because we had interviews with the president! It had been there since the 4th.. So if you sent it on the 31st, then... it took not even a week to get here! Don't know how! Crazy fast! haha. So I haven´t opened the presents yet, but I already know what they are because it says on the front of the package.. haha sorry :P But I´ll wait still! :)

Yesterday (Sunday), was my four months!! Holy Molly! Time passes fast! Craziness!! AH! Pretty soon it will be 6 months and that is 1/4 of my mission! That´s crazy!!!!

We had a really good lesson yesterday I really enjoyed it. We were talking about the book of mormon, prayer, and familias eternal and it just was really awesome. I bore my testimony about families eternal, talking about how I never really knew my grandpas and how I am really excited to meet them someday, just the spirit was so strong. I really hope he was listening to the spirit too!

This past week, we´ve lost lots of people but at the same time, always are gaining. The hardest lesson is always... the 2nd one. Because the first one they usually don´t speak their mind cause they don´t want to offend or something but the second lesson they usually do. So you always have to make sure your first one is really good and then answer any doubts!!! But anyways, things are going good!

Something I was thinking about was trying to say"We get to do it". Like Brother Morgan always did. But you can´t really, but you can say "We have the privilege of doing it" or something like that. I´ll try and figure out the perfect way of saying it hahah.

Tyler Russell got married? To whom? haha. That´s awesome about Brother Bennion haha, I can see him doing that :P nice :P. Yes! I remember The Nielsens! No way I could forget!! :) I miss her!!! I want to see them again!!! :)

Yeah, I didn´t send them super fast because I had to finish some other letters too hahah. It was really good to hear from Phil too!!

This week was kind of hard, because it´s really hard to find our investigators lately, not sure why!! haha. That´s what is really hard here, is that everyone works, A LOT! Like they literally work from 6 in the morning till 9 at night. That makes it difficult hahaha. But I´m doing my best!!!

I definitely miss you guys lots but this is really where I love to be!! I haven´t spoken in church yet but who knows maybe I will! haha. It´s been hard lately but I really want to help the people here!!! This past week we only have 110 people in our ward. Our goal is 170. But there are 569 members that should be going.. Yeah that was crazy to hear, but it makes me want to work harder!!! :)

Anyways I love you guys so much, and I can´t wait to see you guys again, but first I need to work my heart out here and give the people here my all!!!

Love always,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, November 7, 2011

I concure with David... I don´t know what to put here...


Sup Fam! haha just kidding. Just Brincing!! haha. Brincar (to play) So... Brincing is like just joking just playing. anyways... haha. So!!! I got your letter mom!! THANKS TONS FOR THE PICTURES! :D Foi Otimo! It was awesome! loved it! I now can say this is the husband of jess! And I can show off my new favorite person! Speaking of: Adam should write an email or letter or something too ;) hahah. So man Crazy things happened but I don´t remember all of it.

So I went on divisions with another elder last week in my area, but guess what... He has been here shorter than I have! So it was interesting!! haha. But that being said... I understood everything!!! And I could talk very well! :) The Lord really knows what we need and when we pray in faith and try our hardest we will be blessed for it. I still struggle a lot sometimes, but I really can tell the blessings of the lord in my life. But those blessings don't come free. I have to study everyday more words and study the grammar and really know how to speak. A lot of times the words that I have trouble understanding are because they are being used in a slang way. So I really have to understand that too, but need to be careful that I am still speaking in a good manner. Cara! ;) (Dude)

I have decided that I want to talk to grandma after the mission and hear some stories from her about her family history. This is really hard... I keep on thinking the sentences in portuguese. haha.

The other day we returned back home and noticed a strange smell in our apartment. Turned out that there were people smoking marajuana (How do you spell that?) in our apartment. It was so gross haha. Oh yeah, sunday was really hard because either everyone was at this huge party ( that we accidently ran into ) or (kind of two opposites) church. Haha so we couldn´t encontrar.. find.. sorry haha... anyone. Btw there are churches everywhere here! It´s crazy!! We have one right across the street from us. Usually they are like little garages, but sometimes they almost look like temples. WE also have Jehovah´s (how do you spell that?!) Witnesses here too! We see them preaching sometimes too haha. It´s cool!!

How was the marriage of Mallory´s? That´s so exciting :)  About tracking. So we aren't allowed to clap at doors anymore like randomly. We still clap at doors but we just can´t do it for contacting. Only streets. Mainly because it just does not work at all. haha. But também we work tonsSssssssssss with the members. Referencias from... references... the members is how we work a lot here. And from other people. And just contacting on the streets. It´s hard, but clapping at doors is harder haha.

I do not have a microwave, I surely do want one hahah. But that´s super exciting for Jordan!! :):) AH I´m so excited! btw I will want his address in the field! (Jordan is Grant's friend from here, Jordan DeGraw--his VISA finally came through and he left Provo last week and is now in the Brazil MTC.)

Hmm... So, I´ll try and think of a way to show you where I live! Okay? Tudo bem? hehe. Ótimo!

Can´t wait for the package!! Should be awesome!! :)

So yes dad, Weird Al is awesome I know ;) hahah.  Well I think I need to head out now!! But thanks for everything! :)

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another week down!

Oi Minha Família e Amigos!!

So let's start out with a funny story shall we? Let´s go!!! haha. So we just got done getting our haircuts and having lunch right? But on the way to haircuts something funny happened...We were on the bus on the way and one elder gets up and presses the button to say to the bus driver next stop, we want off, so I got ready and when he stopped I got off... but only me haha. The other elders stayed on because he thought we were somewhere else. So, like the movies, I was chasing down the bus hahah. It was only for two or three more stops but I was running to try and catch it. hahah. It was awesome! Really embarassing but the best haha.

Alright! So what´s the name of my blogspot? I want to send it some people. Thanks! I forgot to tell you another story last week! I got kissed! haha. It was really embarassing as well haha. This girl came in while teaching and kissed me as a hello because that´s how they do it here (just the cheek) But I´m pretty sure i turned completely red haha. My companion was laughing at me :P haha. It was funny. I didn´t know what to do hahah. But all´s good now.

So here in São Paulo, you are either soaked by rain or soaked by sweat. I should really say rain and sweat. haha. Let me tell you though I would rather have sweaty clothes than wet clothes. Uh, gross! hahah. Anyways, we had ping pong again this week. And I actually went this time!! We had a really good turn out and we met some new potential pesquisadores (investigators). It was really good. I like doing activities a lot more because it´s a lot less awkward and they are introduced into the church in a non-threatening way. It works really well!!! Did you know that we are prohibited from clapping at doors here? I don´t know if I already said that or not haha.

Oh hey phil! Send me a letter with the recipe of the smoothie with Chocolate and bananas and other awesome recipes that you liked to make here. Have the stuff be in português, that'll be easier!!! (If possible haha) We make pancakes and french toast and stuff like that here. It´s yummy. Lunch here is always the same but SO good! haha. Rice and beans. Salad drenched in vingear (still getting used to that one) with tomates (which you should be proud mom, I´m starting to like them!). Que mais... Strogonof? I have no idea how to spell that one haha. E... other stuff that I think of but I can see it. haha. We also drink tons of soda. That's probably the hardest for me hahaha. Not even joking haha. I´m so not used to drinking soda at all hahah.

Before I forget, keep the general conference magazine! I want to see it when I get back. We recieve them here, but I will want them when I get back, I´ve decided. haha. Also, sometime, could you send pictures of like my instruments and maybe me playing hockey and stuff like that? Awesome! I always try and describe a mandolin to people here, but they never know what I´m talking about hahah. Thanks!

Last email I think I said Jovem when I meant rapazes. Rapaz means young men basically... haha and jovem just means young. Eu sou mais jovem! haha. So my companion said that president of our mission will leave like june or july! how sad! But that´s okay! haha.

So also this week, we were talking to a member and I got this pressure from her that I need to marry logo logo (soon) after the mission. All I was thinking was, umm... I´m on my mission right now, don´t even want to think about that right now! haha. It was funny though. Then my companion joined in too :P haha because he has someone waiting so he thought he could try and help her get me married after my mission. It was weird hahah. I just said, well, right now I'm on my mission, so I don´t even want to worry about that right now :P hahah.

Halloween isn´t celebrated here much. I have seen decorations. But no one goes trick or treating. It´s basically non-exsistent haha. Time is weird. I can´t believe that it is already another week. But days are slow. Well, I should say the hard days are slow, but every day is hard, so yeah days are slow. It seems like though when we have a really successful day then things go by really fast. But the weeks for sure are fast! haha.

For us here, it´s really difficult to use the websites, because not tons of people have computers. But when they do it´s good. And sorry about the contacts :P haha. I don´t know how I have been going through it so quickly! haha. So I´m on my second transfer sim! And with my first companion in the field sim! I´ll try and send a picture every time I get a new companion! haha. My companion´s awesome!!! haha. He´s a great guy. And he plays football, which means he loves being in control hahaha. So basically I follow a lot hahah. But it´s good! :) haha. I am the trainee. haha.

The temple baptistry coordinators! legal!!!! Haha. That sounds awesome! Da Hora! haha. One thing that I surely (surely?! what the heck, who uses that! haha) do miss is gavin and now ruby! haha. But all my family! haha. But I had a dream with gavin and ruby last night haha. I can´t wait to meet her I know she will be the best :) haha.

That´s awesome that you guys are reading the book of mormon together!!! It will amaze you how you can learn even after reading it tons of times. Seriously, always do the things we have been counseled to do. FHE, family prayer, family study. I see here what happens when people do those things and when people don´t. And in my own life now, I have learned more than I ever knew before about so much stuff. But my mission has really been giving me guidance for my life. It´s the best!

Man dad!!! I want to fish now :P haha. Sounds like fun!!! And I can´t wait to see our house and how it will be when I return. Man there´s a lot of times when I start thinking and writing in português haha. So I bet those talks were awesome! Because seriously the atonement is one of most important things we talk about as missionaries. Just think. Without it, there is nothing after this. We cannot progress and no one can live together forever. We have no hope. But because God loves us so much, he did send Christ for us. Something that I always remind my investigators that have a hard time forgiving themselves, is that Christ died for us. Not for himself but for us and for our sins. We have this great gift that we can use to ask for forgiveness. We need to realize that yes, we can be forgiven and yes we can feel joy in our lives. The atonement goes so deep it´s crazy. I hope to understand 1/10 of it someday haha.

Anyways! I loved the pictures! I miss you guys tons! But I am always thinking about you guys and knowing that what I´m doing is right!! I´m helping people here and there is no greater calling. But it´s a calling that everyone always has. It says it all over in the D&C, and The new testament is all about missionaries, but we all need to preach the gospel! It´s our calling. Because of this scripture João...I mean John 3:5. No one can enter the kingdom of God without birth by water and the spirit. (don´t know it in english obviously.. haha) But once we know that, we know that everyone has to have the chance to accept this gospel!!

(Wrote down the scripture dad, I´ll lookk it up!)

Anyways, The work is progressing here. It´s been hard past week or so. But we do have some really great people. Like one lady who just stopped smoking and is able to get baptized this sunday. I´´m very excited! Alrighty!!!! I´ll say Ciao for now! :) Love you all!!!

O Melhor!
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

O Que Aconteceu..? (What Happened?)


What´s up yall? haha. Crazy week! Where to start? How about with our "miracle investigator" haha. He was awesome! He listened really well and he really understood what we were talking about. But then... One day we went to go teach him and he had this entire set up planned. He brought us in and showed us some food and with paper under the food saying Cuidado...something can´t remember the other word exactly but it means "careful! Venom!" Então, so, We were a little worried of his next move hahah. He asks us if we believed him and had confidence in him and we said yes. And started eating some of the food and drinking from some of the drink. And finally he didn´t eat one of the pieces of food and didn´t drink any of the coke there. Eventually he showed us that he had injected venom into the food and into the coke. So we were kind of freaked out at that point and worried of what the point was of this haha. So! Basically to make a long story short, this was his way of saying there is danger in some truth! Because he belived that joseph smith was a prophet and that the book of mormon is true, but there are dangers. And dangers in the bible too. For example: His belief was that sexual relaionships inside of marriage is pornography as well and that God would never want us to leave his presence and that we are all brought into this world by sin. Basically, He says he believes the bible but he really doesn't because he picks and chooses the "danger" scriptures or truth ones. It´s the bible of José! haha. Anyways after 1 hour and 30 minutes of talking nothing happened. Really sad but! He comes to church still, so who knows hahah. I´ll see if i can attach a photo of him.

That being said, We did have a baptism this week! It was awesome! I´m having a similar concern that Phil did though. The people here are...idk...very casual about church, so I feel like we need to work very hard to make sure he stays strong in this gospel so we don´t lose him!

So the strike is over! Because I received tons of letters the other day! None from you mom though! Sorry! Probably soon!!

Question: Can I use regular solution with my contact cases?

If there is something that I have learned to grow and love this week, is when we receive food from members. Because this past 2 weeks we have only had 2-3 lunches with members, all the rest were forgotten or we were given money, so yeah. Give food to missionaries they love it, trust me hahah. Hey speaking of: in your next letter, send some recipes that are awesome! :) Especially you Phil! :) hahah.

So there´s two theme musics here in this part of São Paulo. First: Funk. Which is really bad and the beat never ever changes. The other: This liquid Gás thing. It´s trucks that drive around blasting music all day long. That´s all we ever hear, or american music haha.

So we had a ping pong competition this week! But...I didn´t go because we went on splits last mintue! haha. But it´s okay, we had a really good turn out and recieved lots of new names that we can visit. Right now, we receive a lot of names of jovens (young...guys haha) and we go and visit the families. We are working our hardest to find more families and more people to teach each day!

BRASIL!!!! AHHH That´s so awesome!!! (Grant's friend Louie Arne received his mission call to Brazil.) Starts with a J? João Pessoa? That could be the furtherest east I´m not totally sure though!!! AH So awesome!! And Shelby too:?!:! Crazy!! hahah. So many people going to BRASIL!!!! Now Jared needs to go there :P hahaha.

Let me know how fishing goes!! I really have been wanting to go! So Yeah I wore my jacket to the temple but that´s about it and zone conferences. Short sleeved everywhere else!! But the weather here is strange. Because for a week straight it just rained but then it hasn´t for a while now haha. So who knows :P But thanks so much for the backpack cover and umbrella been using them well! haha. But it´s going into ...spring i think from winter... yes that´s right... I think hahaha.

This week is transfers!!! Crazy!!! We got a new elder early beacuse he got his visa and came from the states!! So now both companionships in our apartment are trainers and being trained! Like me :) hahah.

Are primary programs all for the same day? Because ours was this past sunday too!!! Crazy! haha.

Anyways, well, it´s going great here! I´m definitely learning how to be a better missionary everyday and trying not to fall into bad habits. You really have to be thinking about how to be better all the time to not get off track!! It´s so important to be sooooo focused all the time. But at the same time, I think it is so important to use P-Day to relax. Or else, you would go crazy!!!

Something I learned this past week, and alllllllll the time, that faith is essential. We have to always have faith that we are where we need to be. if we are doing what we are supposed to then we need to know that the lord will work it out! Faith is so essential. if you do not trust the Lord, how can you accomplish anything. That is what faith is, saying hey I know you know better, so I´ll do what I need to and you will show me the way! We need to also have faith the people here will do what we say. Once again, if we do not have faith in that nothing will happen! Anyways, probably should go now! Ciao!

Com Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

So Picture 4 is José. The first story guy! haha. So we get pretty creative when we don´t have a place to eat haha. Also glad you liked the Thou Art The Man scriptrue :p haha. Foi Ótimo! haha. I also don't know Ruth Shaw! Maybe I will when I see her! Oh hey you should write down movies I should see, and books I should read, music, Idk stuff like that that I would like! That would be awesome :P oh hey, The Lybian guy was killed?! the Dictator right? What will happen now? You know what I miss about sundays? Nachos!! I miss those so much :P But, I do get tons of Juice here that is awesome! haha. Sorry I´m writing more now haha, but I´m also waiting for the photos to go through! And hmm... Seeing the Good in Yourself.... I´m not sure... hmm... My mind works like a missionary right now, so I´m trying to think of a scripture story hahah. I guess maybe realizing... that Christ died for us and not for him. And so we have this great gift that we can use everyday to repent of our sins and better everyday and realize that we are God´s Children. Sorry Idk! haha.

See the pictures posted under the pictures tab!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Um Milagre! (A Miracle!)

So check out the new tab--pictures! Grant finally sent a few pictures, which I have posted.


What a good week! haha. Well, each week has its ups and downs but this week we had a miracle that was just awesome. So we had been teaching some different families this past week and nothing was working out at all. But last sunday we had a man come to church and he just said: How can I learn more about your church! It was Awesome! So we went to his house and taught the restauração (restoration) and he loved it! We asked him to pray about the book of mormon and he asked us why because he already knew it was true! haha. Anyways the next time, we asked him how his prayer went and he said he knew it was true and that the law of chastity was the way (because we taught him that too). Which was interesting because he meant it as completey (complimentary, maybe?), because he is married right now. So we started teaching the plan of salvation trying to figure out exactly what he needed and found out that his real problem was why bring someone into the world if we will just suffer. Anyways, we had another lesson and everything is awesome! He will be baptized this sunday! Super excited! When his wife returns we will have to teach her too!

So we made pineapple juice today. Be jealous Phil! :P haha.

My companion and the other companionship says that I´m doing really good with the lanugage. They actually think I´m ahead of where I need to be! haha. Crazy! That´s good! I do feel like i´m doing well. I actually talked to that guy I just described by myself while my companion was on the phone. (He is the district leader so he gets to talk a lot haha). And I was understanding everything and more imporantly he could understand me perfectly! But then again there are some days where I have no idea what Is going on still hahah. It´s all the process of learning though! haha

So We had a training with our president and I have decided he is the man! Speaking of the man, look up 2 Samuel 12:7. You´ll get a good laugh haha.

This will be the start of week 6 out in the field! 6 more weeks of "training" which is weird! haha. Salt Lake City huh?!  (Grant is talking about Corinne's brother, Dallin. He is going to be in Salt Lake City serving his mission until his visa finally comes through. He is supposed to be in Brazil.) That´s crazy awesome! :) I know he´s probably a little bummed about not going to Brasil right now, but being able to understand the people is a huge help hahaha.

I believe that all living arrangments here are 4 or more missionaries. Oh, and another intersting thing is that we are not allowed to "Clap" at doors (knock haha) Because here, it´s just horrible hahah.

I´m not sure about the mail service! But I really hope it is working cause I have some mail to send, so when I get an oportunity to send it i´ll check in on it!!! And with the surroundings.. Yeah kind of! hahah. I know where certain people are so I can basically get there. pretty well! haha I get better each day though!!

Get on the church website, and my ward is: Limoeiro. This is to see where I am! So if you want to look where I am that´s what to do! :) Sorry I can´t give out more!!

Well, I wish I had more!!! but I don't know!! So!

Seu Filho, Irmão, e Amigo,
Élder Grant
Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 10, 2011

What should I put for the Subject?


So craziness!!! haha. Anyways, So we have been working with this rapaz (young man?? basically) (he has 15 years), Isaías and I felt like we were getting somewhere with him. But we visited him again and he hadn´t been keeping our comprimissios what is that called... like promises? Idk anyways. We have asked him to pray about the book of mormon and read certain sections but he hasn´t been doing it haha. And it just gets frustrating because he says he wants to know what church is true and we are giving him options to find out but he doesn't  do it. So we told him that we were giving one last chance because we need to work with those that are progressing, so we said this sunday will you come to church and will you do the things we asked and stuff like that. Well, he ended up not coming to church. So I think we will pass by his house today and say hey, we would love to see you at church and if you do we will continue but we can´t teach you anymore right now. It´s super sad, but you have to let go of those that aren't showing any progress after a couple of lessons especially if they keep going to another church and are not giving this true church a try. haha

But we also had a really good expierence this week! I went on splits with Elder Gariety (he is an elder that lives with us) There are 4 elders (including me) in our apartment. And anyways, while we were on splits we taught Manoel and he has a really strong testimony already in everything that we are teaching. But he has a really hard time giving up Smoking. He says he wants to but he has a hard time. So we gave him the Word of Wisdom lesson and had a really powerful lesson. I felt like he really will try harder this time but of things we told him and yeah. So we made a goal with him to give up 2 cigarrettes a day and we shall see how that is going! :)

So random, but I ate a coconut last p day. Was good! But not super good, the milk is kind of strange. But it´s pretty good.

Anyways!!! Sunday was awesome!! We went to church and we brought with us Caio(The kid who cried when he couldn´t go to General Conference), Gabriel, and Venessa! (Friends of Caio). And they absolutely loved church!! They loved the things they learned about!! We also had 2 people there that were brought by others and that was sweet. We taught one yesterday (Ivanei) and it went super well. He will get baptized I know it! :) haha. It was an awesome lesson and we had two other members there (one being a good friend) and it was really strong spirit there.

We also had a lesson with Marcus and his family (his son being Caio) and that went really well!!! Except for the fact that the mom is not listening. It´s really frustrating when I feel like we explain something really well (like the need of priesthood) and they don´t get it. I know she understood because she responded correctly and followed up about what we just explained, but I think she likes her church a lot. Sometimes I just want to be like: The truth is right in front of you!!! Just look, it makes perfect sense!!! I need to definitely work on paitence with that. But the Dad and the kids really liked it. The Dad is willing to get baptized I believe but the Mom is controlling even over him.. So definitely something we need to work on. haha. It was very good though!!!

We had the confirmation of Maria yesterday too. She is doing soooooo great and I´m so proud of her!!! She has such a strong testimony already and ah I just am happy that she is doing well.

We didn´t have any baptisms this week. But we are getting some good people that are looking to be firm. I hope so!!! Because being in Brasil I guess I had an expectation of baptisms every week, but sometimes bad things happen and sometimes we don´t work hard enough. haha. I finished the book of mormon this past week!!! it wassweet!! hahah. And now I have started over! But in portuguese! haha. It´s fun!!! I actually can understand a lot more than expected. Reading is probably the easiest and the only time i don´t understand something is when there are a bunch of words I don´t know. But usually you can take a very good guess of what the word means by other words and by how it looks because a lot of words are similar looking to words in english. But not all time, just works good sometimes!

So! Mail might possibley be on strike here. That´s what my companion said but not sure! I hope not!!! and If I heard right, did Steve Jobs (apple guy) die? Crazy if true! haha

So about the dog bite. We were in the house of a recent convert and I was showing her the guide to the scriptures to help her study. And out of no where the dog jumps up and latches herself on my hand haha. It didn´t hurt, just surprised the heck out of me hahaha.

My companion is Elder Richins. I have never really pronounced it in english, so it´s weird to hear that way now haha. Yeah From Utah!!!!

About the deaf woman! I forgot to tell you guys that while we were teaching she... started breast-feeding her child hahah. It was...weird hahah. But yeah she can read lips so that´s helpful. But I don´t know if we´ll go back. My companion doesn´t see any potential.. anyways!!

Me personally, I have not baptized anyone. But with me, my companion has baptized 1 and 2 others were baptized by the father of the son (obvious hahah) and the grandma of the son.

How much contact stuff did you send with me? Maybe I lost some or didn´t look in every nook and crany in my luggage because I only have 4 bottles of solution and already went through 2 haha.

Thanks for the info on the ties!! I will definitely check and see what I can do!!

I haven´t had to talk in sacrament meeting yet. One of my biggest difficulties and getting used to how portuguese works. And by that I mean, in english you say something a certain way but in portuguese, that way might not make sense. For example, something that was way easy for me to get but none the less an example: in english: "I am 20 years old" in portuguese "I have 20 years." you don´t say I am 20 you say I have 20 years. So things like that because I want to translate a lot, when in reality i just need to talk in portuguese and not translate. I can follow a person talking now, when talking about religion and sometimes other things. (it really depends on the subject and when I jumped into the conversation) I also have to pay attention really hard sometimes. But if there is more than one person talking  a lot of times, I'm done for hahahah. It´s pretty difficult. But I feel like I am progressing well. I practice the lessons everyday during my study time and practice grammer and all that good stuff. But most important I´m trying to get better at talking with the people. That's so hard to do because you don't want to sound stupid or something but you just have to go for it!!

Single´s ward huh? hahah. Fun :P Let me know what happens!!

And you said something about Mallory getting married But sweet!!! I´ll remember that date!!! Hey when is Grant Collin´s birthday? I can´t remmeber but I know it´s in this month... did it pass? If so HAPPY BIRTHDAY... if not that was weird :P hahah.

Have fun at the BYU game!!! and Louie hurry up and get a mission call... hahah :P and How is Jared doing?!? Haven´t heard from him yet!!!

Btw, I want nachos super bad hahah. :P

Anyways, I´m trying my best to be the missionary you think I am because I want  to be that. Even if the missionaries around me aren´t following the rules I do my best to because I want to remember my mission in a positive way. Anyways, I love you guys and think about you often but I am working hard!!! Ciao!!! :)

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 3, 2011

Craziness to the Max!

Other than dog bites & mosquito bites it sounds like Grant is doing great!

Minha Família e Amigos!

So man! What a crazy week! haha. Where to start? hmm... I guess I could start with that I got bit by a dog!! hahah. In a member's home so that was good, but none the less crazy. And it looks exactly like molly (David´s dog) so I always think of David when I see that evil doggy :P haha. But the family is awesome! They are Lucia and Kauê our recent converts. Man it´s weird to type certain things in English now haha. Anyways, so I really wish that I had brought the nifty gaurd rain...umm umbrella! right with me yesterday because we got drenched haha. It was great. My companion sure knows how to keep a good mood going though!! He kept on singing James Taylor while walking haha. So I only saw Sunday Morning session and in English (I was certainly grateful for that because I like to hear their actual voices). We were going to go to Afternoon but our investigators couldn´t make it. The son of one of them starting crying actually when he figured out he couldn´t go. I felt so bad and kind of happy at the same time hahah. Happy because it showed that he really wanted to go! haha. Anyways I also saw bits and parts of the Sunday Morning because the transmission kept on going in and out haha. But what I heard was really good. I love hearing from our Prophet and apostles and other general authorities! It´s the best!

We taught a deaf woman this week! (Eliana) She´s awesome. I really hope that she was able to understand what we were teaching her. We used the gospel art book and a lot of gestures. She can read lips and understand ASL though so that´s definitely helpful! haha. Umm... We found a lot of new people this week. That was really good. A good family or two. They are awesome. But the mom of one of the families is really controlling and that is why the dad coulnd´t go to conference I think. It´s interesting, so we will be working with that this week!

I got your package and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!! :) Thanks so much. Shhh don´t tell my compainions...But I ate all the candy by myself :] hahah. I couldn't  help it. It was too good!!! Loved it. And thanks for the shoes and the pen too!! I actually was quite sad that I didn't bring that pen so now I´m happy! haha.

This week we didn´t have any baptisms but I think it was my favorite so far because I learned so much and I´m way more comforatable with things now. Still working away on that language but it is definitely easier. We had an awesome Zone Conference this week. and we got DVD players haha. That´ll be interesting! We learned so much from our President! He is an awesome guy!!! haha

Oh yeah, another awesome thing (sacarsm :P) I have about a million mosquito bites and my companion has zero. haha. Don´t know how that worked out but it did hahah. So waiting for those to go away haha.

So one of our investigators (Isaías) is thinking about getting baptized in a different church. So we asked him if he followed our counsel about praying about the book of mormon and those things and he still hasn´t done it. We explained to him if he really wants to know if this church is true he has to do that!!! So we are really working hard with him and we fasted for him this past day that he could get an answer. I really hope he prays.. Don´t want to lose him!!!

Hey, What´s the best way to clean ties? Thanks you're the best :) hahah. Oh I can´t wait to know the language so well!!!

I really can´t wait to meet Ruby! I had a dream about Ruby and Gavin last night. haha it was sweeeeeeeeta! hahah. Anyways You´re making me jealous with the BBQ crock pot. Sounds super delicious! :) haha Awesome.

Oh hey did Louie get a call?!?!??! Well if Jordan and or Dallin don´t get their visas I know it´s for them to teach people where ever else they would get sent. But they still have good chances :) btw the cookies were awesome mom :) haha Thanks!

Haha, I love that story about Gavin following the marching music to the tub haha :P That´s so funny. Love it. Man this gospel is awesome and I am so thankful for it. One thing that I have learned for sure is that the gospel is so simple and yet so perfect. We have to follow christ and repent, get baptized, receive the holy ghost and keep having faith, keeping the commandments and repenting. That´s all that we truly need. Everything else is awesome information that helps us grow spiritually and helps us keep that path. I love the gospel and I love you guys!! I hope you are all well.

Com Amor,
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill

Hey, Mom! You know what I can´t wait for? A good mom´s hug :) Thanks for always knowing what to say! I love you and it definitely isn´t easy, but when I´m teaching I´m at my happiest, because I'm only thinking about them. It´s been a hard couple weeks but you and Dad always lift me every week. It's hard being the junior companion because I want to do more but my trainer likes having the control I think so I´m a follower for now. That being said he does do a lot and helps me a lot, but I definitely think we could be doing better! Thanks for always knowing what to say :) I love you guys!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Work, Work, Work

Man what a week!! Missionary work is certainly like a rollercoaster everyday. This week we have been trying to find more people to teach, but not with much luck! It´s pretty difficult. Anyways so we had a baptism for this saturday but when we went there and got everything set up, she said that it couldn´t happen today because no one could come. So we were pretty bummed about that. But later that day we went to talk to her and we got it set up for that next day, sunday. So we kept our fingers crossed and luckily it happened!!! Yay!! Maria is very strong with her testimony and will now be a strong member of the church. The two that were baptized last week were confirmed this week. So now they are members and all´s going well!
So no matter what, I will always be emailing you on monday, even if it isn´t my p day. For example last week it wasn´t my p day because we were able to go to the temple on wednesday. That was awesome!! I´m glad that we have the opportunity to go every 3 months but I think you have to be in the city of São Paulo. Not completely sure. It´s hard to know what´s going on sometimes haha.
So I think this p day (which, again isn´t today because we have a zone conference) I will try and print pictures because I tried sending in an email and it didn´t work. But maybe next time i´m not sure!!!
It sure is hard being a missionary!! I really want to be the best I can be, but sometimes it´s really hard when you're the junior companion! My companion is really good but he does things a little differently. Like not keeping the best of records sometimes, or spending too much time at a member's house. But he is a really good missionary and when we teach, he really teaches by the spirit and lets our investigators know that we love them. We are just in a slump right now because we don´t have very many people to teach.
I´m trying my best to learn the lanuguage every day. Somedays I have no idea what to study but I study anyways!! It´s difficult and somedays when I have no idea what´s going on or what anyone is saying, I just pray.
I love Ruby already!!! I can´t wait to meet her!! Gavin will be the best big brother ever! haha. I'm glad that he still remembers me. haha.
I´m in the city of Sao Paulo...I´m pretty darn sure. haha. I really don´t know. It´s hard to know what´s going on sometimes haha. Our ward here is awesome!! The Bishop is awesome and likes to practice english with me, but I have to remind him that I need to learn portuguese haha. Oh, we also teach an english class every thursday. That´s fun! It helps my portuguese too. I was able to play the piano for sacrament meeting last sunday. That was fun as well :) Glad I had that opportunity! We eat at members' homes everyday (or at least try to) Every sunday we get a list of who we will eat lunch at. Yeah lunch is huge and then if we are lucky we get dinner. But lunch is definitely filling. I eat so much now and get so hungry. Last time I weighed myself I was 145 pounds I think not sure. It's like 66KG So whatever that is haha.
Oh how I miss little Gavin!! I´m glad he was so excited about Nursery!! haha that´s awesome!!
I´m pretty darn excited about conference this week!! Hopefully those that we have invited will come!!! And I get to listen to it in portuguese so.. let´s see if I get anything out of it!! hahah jk. I will.
Man Dad!!! You are on fire!!! 26 minutes faster huh?? You're pretty fast! "You're my hero Ferris!" hahaha. Anyways say hi to Jess and the gang (+1 more now!) Glad you guys could visit them!!!
Well, I miss you guys and think about you a lot!! You really learn the importance of families when you are away from them that´s for sure!! haha. But when I´m teaching, everything goes away and only that person matters. It definitely brings me a lot of joy. We just need people to teach now! haha. We will find some people. I did do some good street contacting the other day! haha. I´m trying to have no shame (não tenho vergonha!!) and just talking to people. I want to be the best I can be and show the Lord how much this means to me, even during the roughest parts.
Well I love you all!!
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill

Thrilled to get our e-mail--then to my surprise, he sent a another e-mail today!!!

Well, I have a little extra time to email some more! haha. I like that I can e-mail! So I have definitely learned that this church is built off the scriptures. Everytime I read them I find something in them that we do. Like it talks about keeping records in them and even things like that. We really do follow the scriptures. And every time I have had a question about something, I seem to always find it very soon while reading the scriptures!!! The scriptures are key for knowing this gospel is true because they are where the truth comes from. Revelation is scripture and so scriptures are essential. I encourage everyone to read and study and ponder them, everyday. Don´t forget a day. But study them. And study all the scriptures, not just the book of mormon, but all. There is new truth to be found in each. I love it!!
I love the time in the morning that I have to study the scriptures and preach my gospel! Oh and I get to watch DVDs! hahaha, that is the District dvds. For companionship study, which for me is 2 hours because I´m in a program that supposedly makes me ready for any position in 12 weeks. Llike I could be a trainer, zone leader, district leader in that time. We shall see haha. I´m learning the area better and members better now, but still have a hard time knowing exactly where we are. I´m sure getting a good leg work out that´s for sure. I love it haha. Oh and next package, cereal would be awesome to have or any type of food but that especially!!! Also, more of my favorite contact stuff. I´m going through that pretty quickly. Anyways just some ideas, who knows!! haha. Oh and because we have a zone conference this week, I think I get to check mail, so I will check for the package! Well, I´m running out of ideas to say, so I probably should just wrap things up.
I´m grateful for you mom and dad and I think about you everyday and how I´m trying to be the best missionary for you guys!! I pray for you everyday and hope that you guys are safe. I talk about you guys with the investigators that we have (when we have them hahah) and show them the pictures you sent me. Thanks for being the best example to me!!
Love once again, seu Filho, Amigo, e Irmão,
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, September 19, 2011

O Campo!! (The Field!!)

Well I´m finally out here!!! I´m pretty excited!!!! So updates!! We did another proselyting trip on the friday before we left and in a way bigger spot. E. Ransom did better but still was pretty hesistant about talking to people. I don´t blame him though it´s pretty difficult when both of you don´t know what´s going on. haha. So we had tons of meetings on Monday about the field and a bunch of other stuff. It was long. That´s all about that hahah. Good just really long. But we said all our goodbyes and stuff like that and that was good. It was really sad though at the same time. Good though because we were all finally going out to were we needed to be!! haha. So yeah it was good. Said bye to my instructors. (Irmão Viana, David, Zamboni, e Marchins). Good guys. I might have the possibility of seeing Marchins again!
So The MTC is in Norte and my mission home is about 20-30 mintues away. Although, we had to leave at 5:30 in the morning because the Mission Presidente wanted to have us at his house at 6:30 for meetings again. His house is about an hour away from CTM. So it was a fun wake up call!! haha. So we had a bunch of meetings again in portuguese hahah and with breaks in between for breakfast and lunch. Let me tell ya, I thought the CTM food was good. But man, it stinks compared to home made food. I forgot how good it was!!! haha. I love it!! I have been eating some good food while out here. They really do know how to take care of you while out here!!
After all that we then went back to the mission home and got our new companions! For american´s in our mission you always start out with another american just so you can not go insane haha. But you are only allowed to speak english 3 hours a week with them. But most of the time we just speak portuguese. It´s pretty darn difficult... haha. But worth it!!! So we went to our home and we had to use the metro and buses to get there, so it´s kind of far. That's the biggest worry for me, how in the world am I going to learn where things are here. haha no idea. We shall see!!
So that night I gave my first lesson!!! It was for 2 people (grandma and grandson) getting baptized that next sunday (yesterday). And they had only a little bit left. So guess what I taught? Law of Chastity. hahah. Yeah my first lesson was law of chastity. But!!! it went not too bad!!! We went through the pamphlet and they accepted it really easily!!!
While out here I have learned way more than I thought possilbe it´s quite amazing haha. I learn so much from my companion. Oh sorry name: E. Richins. He´s from utah. haha. But he's way awesome :) He teaches me a lot everyday. And corrects me with pronunciation and helps with words i don´t know. It´s good. I try my hardest but it´s really hard to pipe in a conversation that you don´t know what´s going on. American´s speaking portuguese are easy to understand, but brazilians are quite difficult haha. But I really can tell that I am getting better everyday. There´s nothing better!!
I feel like we could be doing more with our time. It seems like we walk from appointment to appointment and that´s the exact thing we aren´t supposed to do. haha. But I think this week we are doing more contacting and I will get mroe practice in that. I am understanding about 50-70% of what´s going on. Depending on the person. Sometimes 0% if the person is impossible to understand haha.
But I am trying my best to read in portuguese only with pmg (Preach My Gospel) and pamphlets. I Still read scriptures in english for right now though.
So yes yesterday we had 2 baptisms!!! Yay!!! it was sweet! Kauê and Lucia. (Grandson and Grandma). They are way awesome people and I could really tell their sincereness for this gospel. I am really happy for their decicion and I can´t wait to help more. We got probably 2-3 potential this week for right now. But this week is young so we could get more!!! We were supposed to have 3 yesterday but Maria was a little bit iffy. I´m not sure what´s up so we are going to try and see what´s up but hopefully this sunday she will be baptized.
Church was fun! Stood up in front of everyone and said hi. They do it Preisthood, Sunday School, and then Sacrament Meeting. So that was different. Small little ward haha. Oh btw my area is called Limoeiro. I have no idea if you are able to look it up or not but you can try!!! We are in a part of São Paulo that seems more poor than others. Every street it packed full of houses and other buildings. All with gates so yes you do have to clap instead of knock!!! Cars are crazy here. Motorcycles are even crazier. But Buses are the craziest. Seriously. Mom if you thought Dad freaks you out when stopping at a red light. Wait till you try riding in one of these buses. I don´t think they would stop for anything!! haha. But! We get to our destination fast. haha.
We walk everywhere and when we need to get somewhere that´s a little bit further away we ride the bus but that´s it. haha. Met the Bishop and Counselors they are awesome! One counselor is japanese. There are a lot of Japanese people here actually. And it´s really weird hearing them speak Portuguese and with a brasilian accent haha.
In our house, we have our own washing machine and "drying" machine (hang dry!!) But I guess the washing machine doesn't do the best job but oh well!! And toliet and shower are the same. That´s strange haha. But I´m used to it now. I´ll take some pictures and send them to ya!!
Btw I think I only will be able to check mail every...3 or so weeks not sure. I will miss checking everyday that´s for sure hahaha. So because of some elder we can´t play futeball anymore (well for me never hahah) on p days so that won´t happen for me haha. no biggie though!
So A new baby for Sister Christensen!! That´s super exciting!!! Ah!!!! Pictures again!! hahah.
And I will check for the package when we go get mail!!!
I did mais ou menos (so so) with reading brother Christensen´s letter hahah. But I will try again now and see how I did. I´m glad that your foot is a lot better!!! And Visiting teaching supervisor huh?!? Spiffy! haha. That´s awesome!!! I´m not sure if i can email pictures. I will figure out how all this works and next p day send you guys a letter with pictures (hopefully) Okay?: sweet!!!
Oh my gosh!! I loveeeeeeeee Ruby!! :) She is beautiful!! AH!!! Thank you so much for the pictures. So cute. I am so happy that everything went awesome!!! I certainly am missing you guys a lot and I want to say hi to little Ruby but I will wait faithfully!! haha. Well... I love you guys and hope that all is well there!! I´m doing good and working hard each day it´s hard to do your best when you're the greenie sometimes but I will do my best because I want to make you proud and never regret a single moment. Doing work helps me forget about my worries or things that are hard in my life. It makes me happy cause I am helping someone else in their life. So I found that you just need to always be in service of others and you will forget what makes you sad or other things. Well Time for me to have a good p day! haha. I love you again and miss you all! Ciao!
Seu filho, amigo, irmão,
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill
(I put my full name because I just always have) hehe.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Today is P-Day. . .

Okay, so for the first time since Grant's p-day changed to Wednesday I didn't write my e-mail on Monday. Last night I was tired and I thought, "I'll just write him tomorrow." I even left myself a reminder note on the table so I wouldn't forget when I got home from work. So this morning at work, in comes an e-mail with one sentence: Hi!! P day is today! sorry!! A mother's nightmare--that you'll not send your missionary an e-mail. So I quickly responded, hoping that he was still online. It was a short e-mail, but it made it to him before he was done writing this. He's doing great and looking forward to leaving the MTC next week with mixed emotions! Enjoy--

Oi Familia e Amigos!!!
What´s happening?!?! So yes I sent this before I got anything from you guys but that´s okay I have next time to read them :) We have p-day today because tomorrow is dia de indepência (Day of Independence). So I´ll read them next week :)
So!!!! This week was a hard one at first but a really really good one too!!! :) I learned a lot!!! First off, I´m finishing off alma right now--about 5 or so more chapters. Ah Alma is an awesome book and I really love how much we can learn from all of it!!! It´s awesome. I´m also finishing up the Gospels and heading into the Acts. Reading about Christ´s life is really a blessing and learning everything that he did and how it can apply in my life is such a great learning experience! It´s my favorite! I have really come to love the scriptures more and more every single day!! I have also studied every chapter in preach my gospel (some more than others but all at least 1 or 2 times) except for 13 in English. I´m going back through them but after I think it will be somente portuguese! somente = only.
So funny story!!! We practiced prosyleting this week and we were practicing on each other and then went down stairs to practice on some random people. Irmão Viana (this is one of Grant's instructors) told us to practice on this worker there so me and E. Ransom went and started a conversation with him. We told him what we are all about and told him about Christ and the book of mormon and testified to him. And we left him with the book and told him he could call "this" number if he wanted more information. Well there really wasn´t a number there because it was a practice but he kept on saying where´s the number?? And we were really confused and eventually he just said "okay alright thanks!!! so... No problem right I can keep this book of mormon right?" Now keep in mind this is my really nice book of mormon. And we were like yeah of course!! And so he started to walk off with it!!! And so we were like no no no!! Wait!! We need that!!! He didn´t really understand that it was a practice run and... Irmão Viana didn't tell us but he wasn´t a member hahaha. So that was awesome :) We placed our first book of mormon and took it back in the same day!!!! hahahah.
So next tuesday I´m leaving!!! I´m pretty darn excited!!! :) I cannot wait to be out in the field if you haven´t noticed!!! haha. This week I have felt really really confident in my portuguese. I have so much to learn and I really have a hard time understanding people that speak fast and mumble but I feel like i´m doing pretty well!!! I´m really going to miss everyone here!!!! It´s actually kind of sad. Going to miss all the friends I made here. But we are all going to be serving the Lord and doing what it is right!!! We all are going to be bringing others unto Christ and that is what matters!!! I am going to miss my comapninon a lot!! (E. Ransom) I really have grown to appreciate and love him. He´s an awesome guy but he is in my mission as well, so this is not goodbye. haha.
So I just realized I just used 'So' for just about EVERY PARAGRAPH! haha. Whoops.. I´ll get more creative!!! I went prosyleting yesterday!!! BEST EVER!!!! I loved it soooooo much :) It was so much fun!!! Talked to a lot of people!!! Only passed out two book of mormons but it was fun :) Loved it. Hard to understand people but man I loved it!! :) We talked to this one guy who hated mormons and so we talked to him for a while. But it was frustrating because I couldn´t tell what he was saying a lot of times. I couldn´t defend our church and help him because I couldn´t understand him. So I just testfied but even then he cut off so we had to just let it go. But after that incident we found a guy that was really receptive and he loved everything we said and was really excited about it and took our book of mormon and marked the pages that we ask him to read. It was awesome I really felt like a true missionary then. :) We found some other pepole that already had a book and they would say: "Já tem!!!" (I already have!!) But we found a woman walking home from the grocery store that we talked to. We offered to carry her bags but she didn´t need any help. So we just walked and talked about our Chruch. All in all Awesome experience!!! love it!!! We get to go again but to a bigger area this friday!! That will be sweet!! :):)
Just another reminder: sen to the mission home!!! :) Thanks. I hope I will still get to play piano while out in the field. Because It has been a blessing that I have been able to play music and do those things that I love and preach the gospel!! I love it!!!!!
During TRC, we have been doing really good! And really nailing every lesson!!! So yesterday Irmão Zamboni (I know right?? Best Name ever. Named after ice rink cleaner :P yeah..) said that we have been doing really good and he would love to have us as missionaries if he was a non member. It really meant a lot to me and I was really excited when he said that to me because I really felt that I have progressed in preaching the gospel as well as speaking the language. It was really good.
Jess.. you getting big yet?!?! :P I am SO EXCITED!!! It´s pretty awesome :) AH!!! I cannot wait!!! This past week we had some speakers come for fireside and they brought their kids. one 6 and one 5. and they bore their testimonies. Basically: That was really weird to see someone that young speak so darn awesome at portuguese :P hahahah. I was jealous needless to say :P hahahah. I ended up not playing the national anthem this week, but someone else did. I was pretty excited to sing it!!!! But the thing was everyone said that they would have rather had me play it because.. it was really bad hhaha. I couldn´t even really sing to it!!! it was interesting :p hahah.
I have learned so much about prayer this week. Prayer is soooooo important. Whenever I feel really down I can always rely on prayer. It is my private time and I can speak to the Lord about anything. It really helps me and I really can feel the power of prayer work with me. And I really can feel your prayers working with me as well. I am so thankful for your prayers!!!
Just got your message!! Thanks :) Good to hear from you and yeah you probably won´t hear from me next week!!!
Well I know this church is true and I know the book of mormon is true. And I am so thankful for this work! There is nothing more important than that.
If you send me a package: I really want some moleskin notebooks :) Thanks!!
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So Close!

Another week closer to Grant leaving the MTC--Wow!

Oi Everyone!!
Yes it is so close to being me out of the CTM :) :) :) I´m so ready and super excited!! But sad too!! I´ll miss all my friends I made but they are going to be serving the Lord as well so no worries. :)
So Mom you will get another charge to the credit card. Yeah debit card is just not working and I have no idea why. The lady said that it could be that just certain cards don´t work in Brasil as Debit. But who knows.. hahah. I wish it did!! I did call to start it though! I´m pretty darn sure... You can check it out if you so feel like doing so :P So I got the Christensen´s letter(s)!! haha. It was awesome!!! They sent it in all different letters so I got more mail :) It was the best!!! Everyone in my district was jealous :P Btw my Branch consists of my district so I think we will be going into a different branch. And our Branch predsident left!!! Sad day!! But alls good :)
I got your guys letter too!!! I loved the 80 things thingy it was the best :P hahaha. You will have to explain some of the stories some time. But for now I´ll laugh at the ones I know hahah. It´s the best. So we went to the Campinas temple again today. And... I took a picture shhh :P haha. I had too it´s just so awesome!!!
Btw, so i dont forget!! Start sending to my mission home!!!! Isn´t that crazy to think about??? I will be in my mission so soon! :D Yes it´s so very exciting!!! I just want to start sharing the gospel with everyone!!! :) So I´m guessing Dallen is in the MTC huh? Sad that his visa hasn´t come yet!! But I bet it will!! :)
Next week I do some prosyelting!!! Two days. Monday and then again on friday!! for like 1-2 hours i think? I´m more afraid of that than the field because in the field I will have a senior companinon the proyselting is two white guys who really don´t speak portuguese hahaha. :P it´s funny but freaky!!!! Anyways..
so I can pretty much read the Preach My Gospel in portuguese without much trouble maybe like a word here or there i don´t know but I can get the jist of it all. Jist that is a weird word. Is it an actually word? I don´t know. So the scriptures are still hard to read but I can get the "jist" of it too :P hahahah.
How´s the leg mom?? good that´s good. hahah. :P wish you could answer and I could hear it sometimes but that´s okay :P haha. So!!!! Crazy Crazy story!!! Story about how important it is to keep the rules!!! So the other week a missionary in Vitoria had his leg destroyed by a train. About 7 in the morning on P day i think, him and his companinon were at the train station. Don´t really know what they were trying to do but one tried to jump on the train and got his leg caught under it or something like that. Apparently it´s on the web haha. (secuirty video). But they were not where they needed or supposed to be and so this is an example that the rules are there for your protection and for you to be able to feel the spirit to teach with it. That's what it is all about. The ability to have the spirit and teach with it. This week I decided to work on being more humble and that is the biggest definition of it!!! Being humble is being able to be teachable by the spirit. To have the spirit is the most important thing ever.
Isn´t it cool whenI leave that´s when Jessica is supposed to have her baby?!?! Setembro 13!!! It´s cool. No biggy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH!!!! :) haha wont forget you Hannah no worries!! Btw Hannah Grant did write me :P hahah.
Nascimento can read english. Just dont´use too hard of words. He speaks portuguese, is learning spanish (incrediably fast!!), and knows some english. He´s probably the same level of english as I am portuguese maybe even better so he can read it. Just make sure it´s legiable :) hahah.
Sorry I don't tell cool stories that happen. The reason is because nothing happens. hahah. I write in my journal every night and it´s really only my feelings and what I need to work on or whatever that kind of realates to today. Or how my teaching went. Because it is the same everyday here. It´s the best don´t get me wrong!!! But I want the field. I want to stop teaching fake people and I want to teach real people and know that I could be having an effect on people´s lives so badly!!!! It will be crazy hard in the beginning but I want it!!!!
So... 18 huh Dad?!?! MAN!! I always miss the awesome ones ;) hahaha. Jk :P Hope you caught that reference!!! hahah. Can´t wait to catch one bigger :P hahaha.
Yeah you're right mom. I was a horrible letter writer :P hahah. (I didn't call him a horrible letter writer, just for the record.) But now look at me!! Yeah Jared and Louie haven´t sent me one yet or i haven´t got one yet! But Hannah Adams did send me! So I´m getting some letters from friends too! :P I have like 5 from Brother minor :P hahaha. No one has beat him yet haha.
I am learning so much from the scriptures it is insane in the membrane!!! i love it!!!! I swear each and every story realates to me as a missionary somehow. Especially Alma. Such a great book!!! Read Alma 32! Great one about faith!!!! You learn so much more when you make sure to pay attention to the people and how they are interacting with others and where the people are currently. It is a great blessing to have this time to really study the scriptures as hard as I want. It really brings me sooooo much joy. I love it more than anything right now. I could always be doing this! But I have a short amount of time and I do not want to waste a second!!!! I love you guys so much!!! And I pray for you guys everyday!!! I never forget you guys in my prayers. I love you!
Seu Filho, Irmão, Amigo,
Elder Grant Shaw Merrill