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!