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!