Monday, December 24, 2012



Well, the time has come!! I can´t wait! I can´t believe that it is already christmas eve! Woot! It will be great to talk with you guys! This week was great! We baptized a couple that was waiting 4 years to get married so that they could get baptized. Ah it was awesome I loved it :)

Well, really short but I´ve got to go! I´ll talk to you guys tomorrow :)

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Praia? Sim :)

Well, I´ve been transfered! Where to? The beach :] São Sebastião! woot! It´s wonderful here. I live right next to an island that we go to sometimes to do divisions or interviews of the elderes there. Oh man, it´s sooooooo pretty so wonderful :) The area is super huge though. It´s the entire city and then some. So it´s definitely going to be different here. We have a couple that will be baptized this week! Woot! So I´m with Elder Olson now. This is his 2nd transfer in the field. So I´m what you would consider his "mom." haha. He´s super awesome. Sings really good and he has turrets. He´s super awesome. 

We´ll have the christmas conference this week. that´ll be super fun! I got a package! kind of.... I have to pay 140 reais to get it (70ish dollars). Hint: Don´t declare the value. But I ate the rolos, and m´ms already. Wow. haha :P Thanks! Thanks for the family info too! that was sweet! Exactly what I was wanting. Though I realized I know more people in my family than I thought :D Though... I don´t know how many people I know of Grant´s children. That was one thing I didn´t recongnize like anyone haha. 

But I´ve got to go. I´ll leave the talking for christmas :P

address: Europa, 130
city: São Sebastião

ps. this saturday i´ll be baptizing in the ocean :]

pps. (or pss?!?) the church is a manson (i´m in a branch too) and is on the beach :P

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, December 10, 2012



Well, it´s that week again! Transfers week! Tonight I´ll be knowing if I will go or stay. Either way I´ll be excited. Man, we have really been having a lot of success this past 3 months. Thinking back on it, it´s amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us. I think the hardest thing is to remember to keep going strong and remembering the little things. Pride is a very evil tool that Satan uses to try and justify why you should slack off in times of success. We can´t change our rythme. We must keep going strong and keeping the rules and really showing thanks to the Lord. Or we will just fall into the trap that happens so many times in the book or mormon. something that I´m grateful for with all this successs is that almost all the people that we have baptized here are firm! That´s what makes me truely happy :) Dulce and her family are afasted a little. But her son (Anderson) that was involved with drugs is now asking and wanting help so for sure, they are coming back to church. Other than that the rest of the people are firm.

Sadly, Nair (who was baptized last week) has gone back to cigarrettes. So we had to postpone the confirmation and continue to help her. I really hope she will give it her all so that she can be confirmed with the rest of her family and become a member of the church. Her and her family were really elects. Man, I love them so much :) It´s amazing how you grow a love for people so fast! You get to know someone and in 2 weeks they are your family. That´s what makes me not want to leave my areas. Because i have families in each of my areas. I receieved a letter from the family I baptized in jacareí the other day and that was one of the best things ever. I love them so much :)

This week we baptized the other member of Nair´s family that didn´t get baptized because she was afraid and Hirma. The story of Hirma is amazing. When we got here, she was the first baptism we marked! Why did it take so long then? Well, she was getting married on December 8th. So that´s why but her story doesn´t even start with us. It starts 4 years ago!!! She has been going to church for four years and now is getting baptized (because she had to get married). Not only that she wouldn´t miss a sunday. If she did, she called and made sure someone knew why. She´s been paying tithing almost these entire 4 years. It was a very emoctional baptism.

Bascially things are going very well. I read one of the e-mails that Phil sent me and it´s been the topic of my mind these past weeks. Remember the little things and that they are important too. I´ve been really trying to remember that. Because you can get into the life of a missionary and forget to do certain things. But we can´t forget. I decided that I want these last 7 months of my mission to be the absoulte best part of my mission! 

If I stay here I think I know where I would skype you guys. But since I won´t know until tonight lets wait and find out! :)

I will know if I recieved any packages tomorrow! :) and someone told me that there was an envolpe big waiting for me. should be from you guys then! :) woot!

don´t worry mom, I´m definitely Brasilian now ;) Or I like to imagine i am :P I do feel like I´m turning Gaucho (that bascially means the brasilians that live in David´s neighborhood! speaking I had a dream with him the other day) because of one of my room companions. He´s an awesome guy and I´m speaking more and more like him. Because in the south, it has it´s own culture and almost language :P it´s funny but awesome :) Tri awesome :P haha.

Mom, I´ll always be your G man! :P haha. And it´ll be great to see you on the 25th of this month! 

That´s a crazy story dad! I hope he´s all good! but your story, I have to say, while reading I laughed :P I liked how you step it up too. it was dark, there were cars shining their lights in my eyes, I looked at my watch :P haha. It´s like me when I crashed the car: there was ice on the road, there was fog, it was a curve, I looked down for a split second. :P hahaha all to make us feel better ;) just kidding :P haha. But all in all I hope you´re good  because i´ll be running when I get home :P haha. I´ve tried to eat healthy on this mission but man it´s impossible. So let´s try it at home instead. But If I was transfered, that´s one thing I will certainly miss here, the food! The members here make the best food and never forget almoço! :P Ah soo good! :D

But anyways, I´ve got to go! I Love you guys! Until next week!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The water... stopped?


Man, what a crazy week! I can´t believe some of the things that happened this week! I´ve got a story to tell!

So first off, this past week we´ve been working with a family of 6! It´s been an adventure with them. We´ve been helping this family for the past week trying to get ready for baptism and some of the members of the family were having some doubts. So we did everything we could to try and help them out and make sure that they were super ready for baptism. Then came saturday. But first these past 2 weeks people have come and robbed cords from the church that now we don´t have any energy! So there hasn´t been any energy in the church for a while. That´s been fun.. haha, but anyways, so we had the fear that there wouldn´t be any water for the baptism. Well, on saturday we started to fill up the font. And before it even got to the first step, the water stopped. Me and my companion freaked out. haha. We didn´t know what to do. So I started to pray and ask for help to know what to do. Well, it came into my head that I should get some buckets and start filling up the buckets to fill up the font. I started using the faucets to fill up the buckets and then the font. And it was working, but it was taking forever! Eventually it was 5:30 and we had to get to an appointment we had at 6. So we left and went to the appointment. We went back to the church at 7. And we opened the door to the font and low and behold, the font was completely filled! Wow... That was awesome. i really don´t know how but the Lord definitely placed his hand in helping us. In the end 5 out of 6 were baptised.

Man, it was definitely a week full of work. also, a bird pooped on me -_- haha. Whateves.. It sounds like you guys are having lots of fun with christmas time and all! man, it´s crazy that it´s almost 2013. Things are moving super fast! wow... But hey! Next week transfers are coming up! I have a feeling that I will be moved... But let´s wait and see! :)

I live in Mogi das cruzes

street name: Schwartzmann

if you are seeing one of our churches near by (ward: Bras Cubas) you are close! I hope that helps! Well, I´ve got to go once more, alright! Tchau!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Week!

This week was great! We didn´t end up having any baptisms but it was a very good week. We had our interviews this past week that was awesome! Also the elderes of my district baptized! :D Ah that makes me so happy! :) that´s probably the best thing that happened this week was them baptizing! Woot! We had an awesome expierence too! We were looking for a reference that we had been searching for for a while. But we never found him. We looked and looked many times for the house but never found it. Finally the member (who had also looked for it) found it. We ended up going there with the member. Well, I didn´t, because i had to do an interview but elder caetano and elder passos said that it went really well. Saturday came and we taught them again. And they went to church and they loved it. There are 6 people and man they are so awesome :) I love them so much already. I know that they will be baptized. I just hope they progress well this week.

This week wasn´t super good in the fact that we didn't plan super well. Because of our lack of planning we didn´t have as much success. But now we got this week to do. I´m super excited. We have another family to visit this week that we´ll be helping getting to church. That´s the key is looking for families and not just individuals. 

I got a letter from the family arruda that I bapitzed in Jacareí! Nossa! That was awesome :) Man I really miss them a lot. But I´m so glad that they are firm in the church! :) 

I remembered that thanksgiving was this past week because of the wonderful calander that you gave me :) And because of that calander I noticed that corinnes birthday is coming up! :) Cool!

I really need to send a letter to the Christensens. They really are an awesome family. I love them so much :) It was wonderful to get to know them well before the mission :) Man I´m coming up on the 1 year and 5 mark here soon O_o hahah crazy.

The other day I was actually thinking about my heritage and how blessed I am to have so many people in my family part of the church. It´s awesome :)

Dad before the mission I decided that the hobbit would be the first movie I would see when I get back, that thought hasn´t changed. But guess what else i´ve heard? Star Wars Episode 7 2015 :P haha That´s awesome. Don´t worry i´m focused ;) hahah. 

But anyways, sorry I wrote short the last couple of times, but I´ll get better now :) but I love you guys and love this gospel! I can´t express very well in writing my love for this gospel and for my family and friends :) Tchau!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another One?


So before I forget again! I met another one of phil´s companion´s the other day! Elder Santos, they were LZ´s together. Both of these companion´s of phil I have pictures in the book phil made for me haha. Legal. Things are going super well in my area! We baptized 4 people this past weekend! Yes! Things are going very well. The area is growing well and the members are helping out a lot.

My district is struggling a bit to have success and I´m trying my best to help them have more. They are great missionaries just getting stuck in their areas. Our zone is going well too.

Interviews will be this week :) Super excited! Congratz to Phil that´s awesome! Hey the other night I tried to naming all my aunts and uncles and cousins and stuff... I did well I think hahah... :P Christmas is coming!

Man, there was such more that happened this week, but I can´t remember. It sounds like you guys are doing well! got to go!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, November 12, 2012

He lost!

Check out the photos page--Grant actually sent some photos--yeah!


First! Super sad! Dang... Mitt lost! well.. I think i´ll stay here in Brasil for a while then :P hahah just kidding.

Well then! We had a baptism this week! :) Woot! We´re planning on having around 4 this week. I really hope all goes as planned. We got a proclamaction to the missionares for the members. We´ll be sharing it in the next sacrament meeting. It is a way that the members can become aware of our rules and their role within our work. Things are going well. Me and my companion studied about diligence this past week and this week we are really going to be doing everything we can to be more diligent! It´ll be great :) This past week went by super quick. But they always do :P haha. I can´t believe I have 5 more transfers or 8 more months and then I´m home. Thinking about Katie going home makes it seem even way more close! That´s crazy!

It´s crazy to hear who´s getting older and stuff. Man, sorry I really don´t have a whole lot of time this week, next week I´ll definitely have more time, but I´ll look for a razor here, and I´m having awesome expierences it´s hard to think about them all now. Awesome expierences lets continue! Woot! Yeah! Alright, sorry it´s short and whimpy but next week it´ll be man e-mail :P haha. I love you guys! :) And I think you guys are awesome :]  congratz! ;) Tchau! Como está tia Kauren?

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hard week!


What´s up my family?!?! This week was good! We worked super hard. I stayed here in the same area as district leader still! Things are going super well here in our area! So many awesome and crazy expierences this week! It´s been crazy! First, we found an awesome family! So we were doing contacts one day and we did a contact with 2 young guys and marked a day when we could return and teach them and their family! We came back on that day and they weren´t there but their mom was. We talked with their mom and when we explained to her where the church was, she said, oh I thought we couldn´t enter in that church! and then said, I think God sent you guys so I could know this church! :) Best answer ever! :) :) Woot! That was awesome. We came back the other day taught them and there was 8 or so people there. Only 2 ended up going to church but the rest will next time. It was very awesome :)

At church, we were going through the first class and out of no where the president of relief society came up to us and told us that 3 women just turned up and were visiting the church. cool :) always like that! haha. So we asked them if they were visiting with someone and they said no that they were going to universal church when they saw this church and decided to enter! Sweet! They loved church and after church we went and taught them.  2 are twins and the other is a woman that lives in the same apartment area. We taught them the restauration and in the end I give them each a book of mormon and explain about it. Then one of the women says, I´ve read this entire book! Theres a nefi right? Nossa! it was crazy awesome! We found out that 2 of the women were already baptized in the church and now we are helping the third get baptized this saturday and reactivating the other 2 with their family. It was sweet! :) Kind of disappointing because we thought there was more to baptize but really cool how they had be inspired to enter the church and now are returning to church! 

Funny story! Remember that guy who wanted to kill me at church? Well, ever so often I will see him while we are walking. He seems to never remember me haha. So the other day, we went to visit some people that we did contacts with. The girl went to get her mom and we were talking with her sister. We ended up just talking with the two sisters and we had to leave pretty soon to get to our next appointment. But I wanted to invite them to church and everything. So I was inviting them and everything when all of the sudden my companion says, okay well you guys can go tomorrow if you want but we got to go. I thought he was just worried about getting to the next appointment on time. I continued to talk with them, while my companion stepped on my foot, pulled my shirt and finally we left. as we were leaving he said, man, did you not see?! The guy who wanted to kill you was in the house! haha :P So we found out where he lives :) Won´t be going back there :P hahah.

Hey I thought of something else that I could use! I need a new electric razor! Mine is done haha, I need a new one. 

Well, mom think how I feel :P 1 year and 4 months :P haha just kidding. I can´t believe Jonny is going on a mission! When did I get older? How was halloween? I saw a few things halloween related! So no package yet! But I did get letters! Brother minor (like always :)), David, and Hannah! so someone is working hahah. I really don´t know if there is a strike or not. 

Man the presidential election that I finally care about and I can´t vote! I´m so anxious, I want to know super bad the results already and I have to wait! ah! haha. It sounds like you guys are doing great! Me too! We have a new assitant here and we are starting some new programs with divisions and such. It´s great!  I love you guys!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 29, 2012

What to put here...


Hi family and friends! What´s going on? Things are going well here! This week wasn´t as good as I had hoped but things are moving on. Tomorrow is transfers again. I can´t believe that! This transfer went by super quickly! Man, they don´t stop going quicker and quicker. I can´t believe that it´s time again. This has been a good transfer. Baptized a lot, gained confindence in the members here and really helped the ward move along. It´s been good. I don´t know why but I keep getting this feeling that I will be transfered soon... don´t know why. I´ll know in a couple of hours if i will.

Black Butte is so awesome lucky! haha. Gavin is awesome! yes! Elder Adams is a good friend of Jordan´s and I knew him before the mission and I´ve seen him here :) He´s awesome :) Good missionary too. I will know tomorrow if my package came or not. What?! Johnny is going to mexico? that I did not know! haha. Sweet! Right now, it´s super hot! Ridiculously hot! Freak! But it´s all good! :) My companion is a good guy. He has about 7 months on the mission and he´s doing well. We are working well together! :) Man, time has been eaten up now. I´ve already got to go, but I´ll let you know what´s happened with transfers next time! :)

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 22, 2012

Let´s go district!


Hey what´s up guys?!? Well, we had a baptism this week! Woot! And Dulce and her son André were confirmed. And Victor who was baptised last week got confiremd this week! Woot! Things are going well in this area. I met the guy who threatened me again. But he didn´t remember me. haha. I got super sick on thursday. That wasn´t super fun at all. I think I had a fever but I´m not sure. It made it real hard for work and we had to go home early. Man, I don´t like getting sick, then how am I supposed to help people if I can´t even concentrate hahah. But what eves I´m all good now! I did a lot of interviews this past weekend. Man! I love doing interviews! :) It´s one of my favorite things to do! So awesome :) You really grow and learn so much like the person who is preparing to be baptized, it´s awesome.

I was really wanting our entire dirstrcit to baptize this week but it ended up not happening. I really am wanting to be a better disctirct leader  and I really want to apply the things that I'm learning more and more. It´s a fun calling to be a leader and I learn sooooo much. The sisters baptized and we did too but the elders of my district didn´t baptize. The family they were preparing gave up last second. Saddness but there isn´t much to do.

So I have random moments that I just think of random things and random memories and the other day we were walking and I remembered when mom boosted the boat onto the curb and then ran away from the scene :P haha. That was a good time! hahah.

I definitely felt confident about the language the other day. I did a division and while we were doing it we were talking to a woman. I told her that I was American and continued to talk. But she insisted that i wasn´t American. She said there was no way I could talk so good and be American :P hahah. Woot! That happened three times that day So it was cool :)

Oh funny story! When I did get sick, one of the missionaries made some food for me and gave me a cup of the hot chocolate and a sticky note that said: "Relax man, tomorrow is P-day!" in english haha. It´s a funny thing we always say now haha.

How is Grandma doing? And now how is Aunt Karen doing?! man! Let´s stop now :) haha. Man! Next time I wish to go fishing with dad :P Man, I don´t know why but I really really want to go fishing! I can´t believe that Gavin will be that old already! Wow!

Well, I hope you guys are doing GREAT! that´s all :) I love you guys!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 15, 2012


Disclaimer: I used to try to clean up Grant's grammer and spelling, etc. But lately that task can seem daunting--haha! So for now, enjoy the ride! Coleen (Grant's mom)


hey family! man! Things are going so great here :) We had 2 more baptisms this week and I think we will have one more this next week. Man, things are super exciting here. I´m loving this area so much! So sunday I was threaten! :P haha. It was awesome. hehe. This man came to church but no one knew who he was. He went to gospel principles and started talking during the class. He said how he got baptized that day and the professor of the class looked at me and I just nodded my saying giving her a big no haha. But he was a little crazy. He would randomly talk during class and finally he grabbed the professor´s bible and a pen and started writing in it. So I grabbed the book from him and he got super offended saying that if I took something out of his hand again he was hit me in the face. He grabbed his stuff and left saying that he would wait for me to kill me :P haha. So one of the brothers of the ward made sure he left left. And he did :P He was a wacko. I was all excited cause I thought he would be a investigator to be haha :P but what eves hehe.

So Dulce and her family and going great. She is loving the church so much! :) It is great. This week I really am going to try and find another elect family :) We are trying to work really closly with the Lider of mission of ward here so that the bishop and the ward really know what we are doing. We also are doing that same acitvity that I did in my other area here. Pies in the faces of the missionaires. hehe. It´ll be GREAT! woot! I almost baptized a blind lady! She was really wanting to get baptized. But she gave up and she was wanting to be able to see before getting baptized. I almost cured her too. haha. Seriously :P I swear that I felt the spirit really strong to cure her but I got scared. Fear is bad and of satan :P haha. 

I´m speaking like a gaúcho (a person who lives in the south of brasil) now. Because I´m living with one, I´m using all the language from there. It makes me remember David :P haha. How is he? I haven´t recieved any recent e-mail from him. That´s so crazy that Jared is in Russia! Man! That´s crazy-go-nuts! Love that guy. I hope he´s loving the mission as much as I am :) I´ve got to write him! Jonny Lightheart and bybee will be going on missions soon?!?! What the?! What is happening?! I´ve only been out 1 year and 3 months. (david should be making 1 and 6 now right?) 

This past week we had a trainning with president. It really made me want to be a better leader. I´m really trying my best to be! The sisters baptized again this week. But this week I want that every area in my district baptizes! That would be the best :) I´m really trying to apply what I learned in my follow-ups with my elders and sisters. They´re awesome missionaries :) I have this feeling that I will be a lider of zone this next transfer. I also have a feel that the area where I am will be the area of the liders of zone. But lets see. What ever happens, I wish to stay here. I´m really glad that I have familys in each of my areas.

I met a brother from my first area the other day! :) It was so good to see him! Things are going great in my first area. They have a new bishop and lider of mission of ward. Most of the people that I baptized are still going to church and that made me soooo happy :D And someone that I baptized but didn´t get to confirm got confimred :) Man that was one of the best feelings ever :) The other person that didn´t get confiremd moved to vila ré which is a area of the sisters. But I want to go there so bad and find her and confirm (or rebaptize if it passes a year) her. I wrote a letter to a family that I baptized there. They are still firm and I´m so happy about that :)

I can´t believe that I have a year in the field and that Ruby has 1 year! I want to meet her so bad!haha. Sara has 4 months? That´s crazy! There is a brother in the ward here that I just love! He loves mario and video games and legos. It´s like me :D And he´s married so there´s hope for me too! :P hahaha. But He loves to collect legos. He wants to build a lego city.

I hope that I´m a good example in your lessons haha :P Taylor´s engaged?! Crazy! Sweet! That´s awesome! HEY! yeah there is a strike... So no package! I can´t even remember the last time I recieved a letter, then again... Ican´t remember when I sent one :P hahaha. Woops! Alright I´ll repent and write haha. Requests.... Ties? Recipies? garments? names of all the brothers and sisters on both sides of the family and all their sons and grandchildren and stuff :P and umm.... I have no idea... haha food :D umm.... I´ll think more! 

I saw the photos of grandma! Man! That looks like it really hurt! I hope she´s okay! :) I miss her tons! I´m definitely going to visit her a lot when I get back :) By the way dad, I´ve leaned over and asked another american missionary how to say a lot of words. So yes my english is bad haha. I don´t speak it anymore. No reason to. haha :P I love you guys and miss you guys! :) Things are going great here!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill (can I be elder forever :D)

Monday, October 8, 2012



Hey guys! So this week went by really fast. But it was really good. It´s really amazing everything that you can learn in one week. I feel that way each week. Really when you pray and put the things you learn into practice, you grow a lot. The things that are possible with just a diligent attitude really gets a lot done. Sometimes you feel like you have nothing else and you just want to be done for the week, but persevence and diligence really make a difference. 

So I believe I told you guys about the family of a mom and 8 kids. Her name is Dulce and all her kids are boys and have names starting with A haha. It´s awesome. Anyways, their ages are 2-17. 2 of the kids can´t be bapitzed because of age and 2 others just are interesting at all. But the others are really. Yesterday we had the baptism of 3 of the kids and the mom and the next week the other kid will be baptized. It was just awesome :) It´s wonderful to see this family really coming together more becasuse of the gospel. I think baptism and performing the baptism is my favorite thing ever. It brings so much happiness to me :) And to them of course :P haha. Anyways we had 4 baptisms yesterday and we´re planning on 3 more this next week. I´m really loving this area. the people here are awesome and the members really are helping. We are forming  a good relationship with the members here too. i´m trying everyday to be a better leader as well. It´s definitely a learning process.

So where I leave everynight we get to hear the wonderful sounds of the rats that live in our ceiling. It´s so great :P hahah. Hey did I tell you guys how I met one of phil´s companions, twice? haha. I forgot his name but I met him on the metro. He really looked up to phil. He was a junior when phil was his companion. That was super cool :P

Man conference was super good. It might of been my favorite. I think it´s because this time around I really was trying everything to learn by the spirit and apply the principles I learn later. There was some pretty awesome talks given. I really felt like a lot of them were given for me haha. Something I´m trying to getting better at is faith. Elder Anderson talked a lot about this. I really enjoyed it a lot. The things that we can learn from the apostles and prophet is amazing. They are greatly inspired men and know exaclty what we need. 

It´s crazy that guys can leave with 18 and girls with 19 now. So awesome but weird! haha I like it though :) My companion has 7 months on the mission. seems like so little time :P me with my 1 year and 3 hahaha; :P man.. it´s strange how time passes.

anyways, I hope you all are well and having a good week! It´s been great here. the sisters of my district had a baptism this week. Things are going great! :) I´m as happy as could be :) Love you guys!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, October 1, 2012

Going well!


Well! This week went really well. We had 5 people in church this week. That was awesome :) We had the potential of having 11 people but I´m happy with 5 people. We found a family this past week. A mom and 8 kids! With 6 of them with more than 8 years of age. But 2 Aren´t really wanting much with the church. But I´m super excited to help them get bapitzed. We are really finding a lot of wonderful people in this area. We are working well with the ward here and also now I have a area book! :) Woot! When I first got here that wasnt here so now we are good. My companion reminds me of a brasilian version of Grant Collins. haha :P It´s awesome! So anyways, this area really as a lot of great potencial.

Something that I´ve really gained on my mission is testimonies for specific things. For example, the principles of the gospel. I´ve gained huge testimonies for faith, repentance, prayer, fasting, etc. Because of specific experiences i´ve been having on my mission I´ve really gained bigger testimonies of these principles. It´s something that I´m really grateful. 

It sounds like you guys are doing great! I´ve got to get going but just know things are really looking up here in this area :)

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Tuesday, September 25, 2012



Alright! Well I was transfered! Like you guessed :P haha. I´ll get the address for you guys so you guys can see where I live. It´s Jundiapeba in Mogi Das Cruzes! It´s really cool here! It's a different area but I think I´ll really grow to love it. It was really hard for me to leave Jacareí. That place became my second home. Me and some of the members were crying like the whole week :P haha Í really will miss them, but I will visit them all again soon :) also, on october 5 or 6 I think I might have a chance to go back there to do a baptism. There was someone there that I worked with almost the entire time and she never got baptized because of authorization but now she will be able to and she really wanted that I bapitze her so we will see! I also lived with the same missionaries for 5 months. Elder Halls and Elder Squires. Be the way, Elder Squires knew Aunt Susan at the MTC. Cool huh? yeah. it happens haha. But anyways, so basically I miss them like crazy and I miss my old area, but I´m super excited to be here in Jundiapeba! I think it was really good for me to move too. I´m still Lider of district but now I´m over two areas, one of them being sisters. Hey random thing so when we went to templo of Campinas I met the missionaries from that area and they said that their LZ is Elder Williams or Peter Williams. That was cool :P haha. Anyways, Things are going way better now. I´m the oldest in my district.. kind of one sister has the same time as me but she leaves first but sister´s don´t count :P haha. Another sister from my zone is Sister sommers, which she is from David´s group, and she is leaving soon, which means David is getting to one year and 6 months. Wow! we are getting old on the mission :P haha. That´s weird. But anyways, so there is only 3 americans in our zone which means, I speak 0 english now. Ít´s normal but just different cause I lived with americans for so long. I don´t really mind because speaking portuguese is really easy now. In fact I was thought to be a brasilian when I first got here and some rapazes of the ward thought that I was speaking perfectly :D Yay! happiness! progress! wootness! Good :) haha.

Anyways, we found a family here that is inactive and we are trying to reactivate them and we will be bapitzing their son of 10 years too. They didn´t go to church but they will :D. There´s a lot of Ghetto here which makes it hard working at night time because it's complicated. But it does make it easy to baptize. Just you have you to do it in the right way. Sadly, the missionaries that were here before me and my companion were baptizing wrong and lost complete confidence in the bishop to the point he became inactive as a bishop. So when I first got here we were more or less without bishop. But a new bishop has been called and now we have to fix things that were broken here in this area. We are working very close with the leadership here so the confidence in the missionaries is regained. I know we can do it. Did I tell you that I spent the entire day on thursday with the presdiente? haha. I did and with sister. Because I went to the police station to renew my visa and president was there. We talked about basketball, and he talked about how he has built houses for famous basketball players like stockten (spelling?). So THAT`s cool :P Why do I have such awesome presidentes ;) haha. Anyways, after the police station I was in the van going back to the office talking with another elder about nerd stuff :P haha. Like windows 8 our opinions about it, hacking, pokemon, zelda, computers, how I want to do programing, my sudoku program, making websites, making computers, just a bunch of nerd stuff. First off, it was AWESOME, second off, presidente heard, so what did he do? Well, he said this to me: "I heard you are a computer nerd. Do you think you could fix my internet and phone for me?" Sure presidente! haha :P so anyways, I went and lunched with presidente and his wife and then went to their house and fixed his internet. Which was easy because he just forgot to press a button to allow the use of wireless internet. The phone problem was that he was using an internet phone adapter to try calls to the united states for free. The problem though was that the adapter needed to be started in the america first and then brought to here. So what they will have to do is send it there and get it back. But now I know I´m on the presidente´s good side ;) haha. I was scared though because I thought for sure I would get transfered to the office O_o hahaha. :P But luckily no :] did not want to go there. haha. So anyways, that was a fun experience.

I still haven't received your package but I´m sure it´ll get here soon :P Also tell david that I already received his postcard makes time already, but his letter still waiting :P haha. Speaking of letters... I need to respond to a lot still and write. Woops! Times gets by ya :P I´ll make sure to do that. I know I´m really bad at it. But you learn right? So in august we baptized 177 in our mission. That was kind of a bad month especially taking into account that in july we had as a mission 276. I'm not sure how we are doing in september but I´m trying to excite my district to really get them pumped up for october. I want to have 300 baptisms in the mission in october :) That would be cool. It´s already happened in this mission I believe but let´s do it again! Woot! Oh hey I forgot to mencion! This is a long time ago but she is still there! So there is a girl from the ward in Jacareí that is from the one of  best families of Jacareí (they are so awesome love that family) that is in the united states right now. Guess where she is at? Walnut Creek! What the?! Of all the places she is where I was born! haha Awesome. But I think the mom is there now too. The daughter went there for work kind ofish? I'm not sure, but it´s cool! Also one of the sisters´from my zone is from São José dos campos. Which is the city next to Jacareí, where we would go all the time for district meetings. Bascially she is doing a short mission thing. She´s done it before and she´s doing it again. Sister Rabelo is her name. But I know her better as Nicole haha. :P But what eves. Her family is moving to the united states now. She speaks really good english.
Did I tell you that my companion's name is Elder Caetano. He´s an aweomse guy :) my second northeastern brasilian companion and 3rd brasilian. Oh they're awesome :P Northeastern are so funny. When they talk it´s like they are singing. hahah. They have this angry/happy/funny as heck attitude all the time as well. I don´t think I´ve ever seen an northeastern sad.. haha ;P But anyways, I think I´ll leave it like this for now! But things are going great here! Sounds like things are going AWESOME :) Have some chocolate with your fries okay? okay :] love you guys and the world and the squirrels! Alright... that means it´s a time for me to go! Tchau meus amados! :D

Com Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill! <------ That´s me! :D

Monday, September 17, 2012

transfers are here!

For what it's worth--but I believe this means Grant is happy and involved in the work he is doing!


Minha Família! what´s up? So I believe today I will find out that I will be moving out of here and going to a different area! I don´t have that much time but basically things are going well. Man, it´s been a sad week because I´m pretty sure I´ll be leaving from this area. I´ve really loved the people here. I really am going to miss my recent converts here and the members but it´ll be good to meet other people. But who knows, maybe I´ll stay :P haha, no I´m kind of wanting to leave at the same time. But sorry I´m going to have to keep this really short I have no time!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, September 10, 2012

Coming up on a new transfer!


what´s up my family? So we are coming up pretty soon on another transfer. I´m 95% sure that I will be transfered. It´s a weird feeling that I will leave from here. but I think it´ll be good for me. I´m excited for it! So there are some changes happening now in this mission. Now on mondays at night, we have our meeting of districts now. and each week the leaders of zone will be doing divisions for 2-3 days with different people of the zone. It´ll be very interesting.

So guess what? first off I went to São Paulo this week to do my visa thing, which didn´t work so I get to go again :P haha. And while going there I went a guy who went by the name of: Elder Aguiar! He said: "Hey what´s up man?" and he we started talking and he asked me did you have a brother who served in forteleza? Yeah? What year did you serve? 2008-2010! Then that definitely was my brother why? he was my senior companion! Man I love that guy! You guys are equal! Weird! hahaha. It was sweet :P haha. Thought you would like that. :P

Gavin´s learning well :P haha Love that kid hehe :P Well you asked if any one in particular that we are teaching. We were and then he cut us O_o haha. he destited..... gave up coming to church and on baptism... always sad but do what. We are working with this girl that really REALLY wants to be baptised but... her dad´s isn´t letting it. But now on oct 5 or 6 her mom is coming from the usa to help get baptised. (her mom is member) so I´ll probably miss it, but I´m happy that she will :) My companion has 4 months on the mission. He´s doing super well! He´s a little funny :P but I absoultely love him haha :P Yeah I´m still leader of district. guess what? My zone gets to go to the campinas temple this week :D I´m so excited! :] it´s been a long time since I´ve been to the temple! WOOT!

Anyways gots to go! We´ve got some plans today! :)

Love you guys!

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It's nice to have another son who speaks Portuguese!

Here is the translation from Grant's latest e-mail:
I know that this church is true.  I know that Jesus is the Christ and my savior.  Because of Him we can return to the presence of God.  My joy comes from the progress of others.  Sometimes it is difficult to continue and be focused, but we still have to continue.  It might be the hardest thing in the world, but we have to show our faith to God and just do it.  :)  People that I am teaching here are the most important people to me right now.  That is something that I have learned recently.  The most important place in the world is the one where you are!  It is there that you must be useful, helpful, and a friend because this is your place.  The most important task in the world is not the one you think is fun to do, but the one that needs to be done in that moment, because the will to help awakes in you the most beautiful feeling that exists: Solidarity (i'm not exactly sure what he is trying to say with this word but something along the lines of comraderie, unity, maybe sympathy).  The most important things in the world are those that are right now.  Have a plan.  Have a goal.  Focus on that goal, on that plan and do the things that are essential NOW, so that you can progress NOW.  Don't procrastinate the work until tomorrow.  Do everything now!

So I hope that helps.

I love you guys,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Going well :)

I'm working on getting a translation for the last paragraph! Enjoy--


This week was a very interesting and growing week for me. I learned a lot during this week. I´ve learned so much this past week. We´ve been working hard really to get new people to teach and we are getting more and more. It´s been going well. We have been really trying focusing more on finding. Our chapel here got "moved" as well. Our chapel is getting reformed and so we had to rent a place and use it until the reformation is completed. Which will be here in a year. So bascially that´s fun :P But It´s all good, it´s closer to our house now. That´s always handy! My companion , Elder Wilker, and I are getting along perfectly. He´s so awesome haha. :P I really am hoping to see some progress here soon. I know there will be. but this my chance to learn a lot. so I´m greatful for that. We have soome people that are progressing well. I just hope it continues. :) I know it will.. :)

I´ll be making 7 months in this area now O_o that´s crazy! I´m about 95% sure that I´ll be leaving from here to another area next transfer. haha. Don´t worry mom, I`m happy and all good :) I´m actually really a lot better, interview went really well and helped me a lot so it´s all great :)

I need to still write the christensens again, actually a lot of people haha. :P my bad. I´ll get on that today. So I´m confused dad, you sponsered a race? like how? haha

On the mission, it is such a great time for growth. you gain such a testimony about each and every principle individually. like prayer, repentance, faith, fasting, etc. It´s amazing. I´m been really trying to apply more and more of what I learn in my mission now. It really helps the progress of those that you are teaching. When you see people progress in the gospel, it gives you so much joy that there is n´t enough room to kepp it in. love it!

I feel like I´m getting old! This thursday I get to go to the police station thingy in São Paulo to renew my visa. what?!? That´s crazy! I only have 10 months left! What?! I would rather have another 2 years please... :) but anyways, I Love you guys. It seems like you guys are keeping busy with fam and stuff :P that´s always fun! ;) Tchau!

com grande amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira. Eu sei que Jesus é O Cristo e meu salvador. Por causa dele, podemos voltar à presença de Deus. Minha alegria vem do progresso dos outros. Às vezes, é difícil pra continuar e ser focalizado, mas mesmo assim, temos que continuar. Talvez seja a coisa mais difícil no mundo, mas temos que mostrar nossa fé pra Deus e só vai! :) As pessoas que eu estou ensinando aqui são as pessoas mais importantes pra mim agora. Isso é algo que aprendi recentemente. O lugar mais importante no mundo é aquele onde você está! É ali que você deve ser útil, prestativo, e amigo, porque este é o seu lugar. A tarefa mais importante no mundo não é aquela que você acha divertida fazer, mas a que precisa ser feita naquele momento. E a criatura mais importante no mundo é aquela que precisa de VOCÊ naquele momento, porque a vontade de ajudar desperta em você o mais belo sentimento que existe: A Solidariedade. As coisas mais importantes no mundo são aquelas que existem agora. Tenham um plano. Tenham uma meta. Focalizem na meta, no plano, mas façam as coisas que são essenciais AGORA, pra que possam progredir AGORA. Não procrastinem o trabalho até amanhã. Façam tudo agora!

It´s so much easier to express myself like that haha. That´s why i write little, because I have to think a lot now to write in english. bye bye!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Never know what to put here!


Woot! This week was better! We had a conference with Elder Godoy and with President. It was a needed conference. We learned a whole lot. It was very very good. I am very excited! We learned a lot. I also learned a lot about teaching and how we as missionaries should teach. It´s an essencial tool that we must have. I´m very humbled by the expierence that we passed and I can´t wait to put it in practice. We tried very hard to get some people to the church this week but without results. It´s frustrating when this happens. You want so much that the people progress but when they don´t it just hinders things. We have some families that we are teaching that still haven´t gone to church and still aren´t completing with some other compromissos.... I don´t remember that word. I just would like that they get baptized! That would be awesome :) haha 

We will have interviews with president this week! Woot! :) I always like interviews with president. It´s good stuff. It always helps to have interviews ever so often! It will be a very good expierence.

It´s weird that people still are going to school hahah. When on the mission you just think that the only thing that exists is mission work sometimes. haha. It´s good :) It´s a very weird feeling sometimes, but I love being a missionary. Helping others is just the greatest :P hahahah. I can´t believe that Sara and Whitnie are going already! That´s crazy! 

So Gavin is 3 now?!? What the! When did that happen?!? That´s craziness right there! Man... That little guy is growing up and I´m not even there to watch it all happen! freaky cara!

It picking season so then? Man, even though it was annoying sometimes, I do miss the whole picking pears thing :) That was and is enjoyable! :)

Things are going well here in Jaraceí! We are teaching some people, but we just have little people that we are teaching. We made a goal this week, to have 25 people in our group of teaching. So I really hope we can get that! :)

But it´s time for me to skidaddle! alrighty? Ta bom! Tchau!

I love you guys!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hard week!


Well another week gone! Weeks don´t even seem to go by it´s just all one big day always haha. It´s just all the same day going by, I just happen to sleep sometimes. hehe. So this was a hard week. We haven´t been having too much success lately in this area, so we decided to change to a different part of the city and try there. Things are going a better, but still we are low on investigators. Makes it difficult. Also my districts baptism fell yesterday! Ah. He was so close to being baptized. He was so ready but decided to back out in the end. But it´s all good. haha.

We have a family we are working with that I hope they can be baptized this week. Please pray for them! :) André and Juilana is their names.

Man, there´s tons of people married or getting married huh? That´s crazy! haha. Man, things like that can´t happen without me being there :P haha. Life isn´t suppose to continue hahah :P

So the folsoms moved out? Well that´s sad! Definitely i´ll miss them. Don´t know what i´ll do now! :P haha. I did get the envelope I loved the pictures :P and the autority line! It was awesome!

You guys are seeing tons of peole that I want to see as well :P what jealously! :P hahah. things are going great here! I´m in love with Jacareí. I don´t want to leave this place. I have been learning sooooooo much in these past couple of weeks and I hope to become a lot better :) Thanks for everything! Lve you guys!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lets roll! :)


Well, I lied! My companion is brasilian not american just his name is Elder Wilker which is not brasilian but that´s okay I´m happy with that :) my second one! He´s pretty cool! I´m excited to get working! He has 4 months on the mission and he´s excited :) I hope I can be a good example to him! So now, we are going to be moving to a different part of the city because where we have been working is dead for right now. We need new investigators and find the elects of the lord. I know that there are more waiting for me. There is a purpose why I´m still here just have to find it. The members joke that I´m already a member here :P at the end of this transfer it will have 7 months here in Jacareí! Whoa! Awesome! But anyways Chiara still isn´t baptized (I don´t know if I talked about her before or not but she is a girl that really REALLY wants to be bapitzed but the dad and grandparents are against it) but we are still working away with her. Just need to find new people. We have a lesson tonight that I think will be really good :) I hope! Anyways

Exactly how much money do I have in my checkings and savings account? I would like to know :) It sounds like Sara is a cuite pie :P haha. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL! YOU´RE OLD! hehe.. It´s okay my líder de zona is 27 years old haha. Hey sister Bailey is probably going to pass by house. I was going to leave some stuff with her but she didn´t have enough room in her.... malas... bags but I did leave a note for you guys with her tá? So say hi to her :) She was an awesome missionary!

 Something really weird about the mission that i was thinking about is basically how could I leave from here? Especally this area it has become my home. It´s like I feel like the past almost never existed.. It´s really weird hahah. But yeah.

I loved the footloose story hahaha, because I can see mom doing that right now hahah. The sad thing is that i do now because I don´t have a way to remember the words. Man I think the theme song of transformors has been stuck in my head for the past year or so. I believe that was the last movie I saw in the theaters but I don´t remember.

Well, I think I´ve got to be wrapping this thing up now tá bom? Perfeito. Então, vamo lá! I love you guys so much! You guys are awesome! :) I can´t believe that now I have more 11 months to make and then I´m home. It passes by soooooooooo quickly.... I don´t like it hahah. it sounds like Jared is doing good! pass me Louie´s too! Louies, David´s, Jareds´, and Jordans! (I still haven´t sent him a letter O_o) but that would be sweet! Anyways, I love you guys! :)


com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

Monday, August 6, 2012


I posted more photos so take a look at the pictures tab!


Minha Família! My mission is so weird. It´s very very good, just it´s all WEIRD! haha :P Let me explain. So I have been here in Jacareí since February 28th and it has become my second home. There are so many people here that I can call my second moms and dads and brothers and sisters. On sunday I gave my testimony bascially talking about that and crying how I would miss everyone. Yeah.. I cried haha. But I love everyone here in Jacareí, I was not wanting to leave here at all. It is the most special place I have ever been. I can´t imagine going anywhere else. My mission really feels like to me Mission Jacareí. I don´t know where else I could be. My recent converts are my favorite people in the world. I feel at home at the house of the family Arruda. (the family I baptized here) I want to go to the temple with them muito! (a lot). With all this, I was saying goodbye to everyone, saying my good lucks and getting free food in every place :P hahah. And then today came... The day we learn where we will go or stay. Well, elder squires and elder halls will stay here in the branch for a 4th transfer together (they live in the same house as me and elder squires is the elder that was the compainion of elder schenk) and I´m staying! But elder steele (my son) is going away! And I´m getting another american! WHAT?!?! That´s super crazy!  Man things are crazy now... WEIRD! But I´m very happy :) I´m staying as Leader of District I´m pretty sure as well. :) Man... It´s very weird, but I´m very excited! I hope to make more of a difference here :)

I won´t have a lot of time right now because my companion wants to make some visits. Sorry, I know I just write little :P but!

Oh so i´m sure it looks like lot of activity going on my facebook but it´s not me promise! :P hahaha. But yes those pictures you saw was an activity we did with the jovens (young people? haha) During July we told them that each week they had to bring people to church and each person they brought to church would be a point. And it would be between the girls and boys. Well, girls won  and we had a baptism out of it too, and then we did this activity that had a treasure hunt, one minute to win it games, volley waterball, and things like that and in the very end the girls ended up winning! WOOOOOO! So bascially the prize was you get to throw whipped cream pies in our faces. So they did :P an then they put flour on me, and water :P hahah. Man that was sooooooooooo fun :P I loved that hahah. They are so awesome. Man, the family Arruda was getting super sad cause they totally thought I was going, the dad almost cried. Rafaela (the 11 year old girl) loves the heck out of me and didn´t want me to go and gave me a hug (that was awkward hahah :P). Man, I´m just happy to stay. Well, time for my companion to say bye to some people I love you guys! Sorry I couldn´t respond to the e-mail but I will. Sounds like all is sweet! :P

Monday, July 30, 2012

No Subject from Grant--Just a short note!


Hey what´s up! So things are progressing here in Jacareí still! which is always good haha. We meet a girl last week that we thought was a member less active because even the ative member that was bringing her thought that but she actually never was baptized. So so we are working with her. She actually really really wants to be baptized but her family isn´t super keen on the idea of her being "mormon." so we will be spending this week helping her family get to know the church and like the church better. There´s so many people her that are just ready for the gospel I´m so excited to continue and man... I just don´t want to leave from this area! haha. But I´m pretty darn sure I will!

So even though the Olympics are happening, everyone here still is watching the futebol part of it and that´s it. Well, not really but it seems like it haha.

How´s sean doing? It´s so crazy that he is home now! I can´t believe it. Being a missionary is just the best thing ever! I love it so much, and I´m grateful for this oportunity i have to be one.

Man, I need to start writing down the stuff that happens during the week again, I´m forgetting. I need my journal with me haha. But basically all is going great here! :) Love you guys!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, July 23, 2012



E aí minha Família! como vocês estão? que bom! Alrighty! this week was very good. I´ve been realizing that I have been receiving so many blessings these past weeks during this transfer. The blessings are amazing. Something that I have really learned about was about the attributes of christ. Really those are the most important part, because it is those attributes that makes the work continue. Because of my hope, diligence, patience, faith, knowledge, etc. results came. Really it is so true. Because of the application of those attributes results came. It is so amazing how God is so merciful. Thinking about the plan of salvation and that really all of his children except for a countable number on your hands will be saved is amazing! In some way or another we will have a level of salvation whether that be telestial terrestre or celestial we will all receive some form or another of happiness! I'm really grateful for this.

This week we were working with 2 rapazes trying to help them get baptized but the mom ended up not authorizing it. Well poop. hahaha. But maybe she will still :) So we are still working with them to get them baptized this next sunday and one more rapaz and a man. Hope all goes well! :) The family we baptized is as firm as possible. Carlos I think is receiving or going to receive priesthood. They are just the best EVER! Love them :) Now I don´t want to leave from here! But I think it would be really good if I were to go to a different place.

So the president is way cool! We did a conference with him and I got to know him. He already knows like every missionary by name it´s pretty crazy. he knew me by name too :P WOOT! And he said I had long hair when I came on my mission :P he didn´t see my hair before... :P hahah. But that is okay! So basically he is very awesome. Things are definitely going to be changing for sure. But it´ll be good!

 About my Patriarchal Blessing... I have a copy! But I just was wanting a copy that I could mark up. But it´s not of grave importance. :) But thanks for the priesthood line of authority! :D Can´t wait to get it! So how are the collins? Doing great? Que bom!

Our next transfer is day 7 of august! I think I will be transfered for sure! The picture I sent you was actually an old picutre of me with Elder Schenk's parents. She kind of gave me a hug, that was weird hahah. President´s name is Presidente Ferrin! He´s super cool!! YAY!

WHAT?!?! Sean Russell is coming home?!? Blasphemy! That went by super quick... now I´m scared... hahah. Did you guys hear about the shooting at the new batman movie? man... sad.

But hey! I was really feeling your guy´s prayers this past week! Thanks super much! :) It was needed! :) But all is going great here! The work is progressing and the elects are popping out from heaven :) I LOVE YOU GUYS! WOOT! :) haha. Be awesome :) thanks :) Tchau!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Man, it´s been really progressing here. Yet again another baptism has come! His name is Tiago and he went to a party on saturday, church on sunday, taught him on tuesday and wednesday he wanted to get baptized that next sunday. Boom! Fast and he is so awesome! My son´s, "my trainee´s," first baptism he did! It was very good! So basically Tiago has a lot of faith. He got bapitzed during his lunch break haha. He went to church but had to miss the last little bit of sacrament meeting to go to work and then he came back to get baptized during his lunch break. I really feel like we are fufilling the plan of the ward of bringing in 3 more melquisedeck (sei lá) possible holders into the ward before august! The family that was bapitzed is really amazing! I love them so much! I get more and more sad thinking about the fact that I will be leaving this area soon. They basically consider me their son haha. It´s awesome!

So because of some plans today I don´t have a whole lot of time but I´ll try and write in a little bit more. Actually, I already got to go!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

P.S. sorry it was super super short, sorry that they have been short lately, next week will be a better letter promise! Love you guys! Thanks for the e-mails!

Monday, July 9, 2012

fast one!

Sorry, I got like no time today! But the family was confirmed and we have 6 people in church. We are working a lot more with the members now. We did a training with them as well and I hope they are getting excited about that. We might do a mini MTC with them too to help them work better with us. The family is so awesome! They are so firme. And If all goes well, that´ll be one of the last things i`ll do in my mission is go to the temple with them :) What a better way to end my mission :) Anyways, we might of found another awesome family :) Things are going great! I loved the story/expierence dad had! We also were fasting and it was a time that I really pushed myself with it too, so my testimony of fasting has grown! 

So when 4th of july passed me and elder squires dedided we wanted to celebrate it. So that day happened to be a huge game day (soccer). like HUGE! Between the corinthians and Boca Junior of argentina. And Corinthians never won against them before. (I understand why the saints is the way to go. much better team :P haha) So anyways, the game started at night and we made a home made flag of america and we made hot dogs. We started singing the national athemn and saluting the flag and holding hot dogs. And as the moment we sang the blowing up in the sky part haha, fireworks just starting bursting in the air like crazy. Not one second went by without fireworks! it was craziness! but awesome! man, LOVED IT! anyways, corinthians won... But it made for an awesome 4th of July :P hahah.
I´m super excited about Jared! He´ll be so aweosme. Now It´ll be two more years before I see him. It was good to see pictures of people. It seems very unreal and weird haha. But Itls coming faster than I know it! I loved the clip of them singing but it didn´t sound like him it was so weird! But he sang super good :) can´t wait to see that chub again! :) my long sheelve shirt is 15! That´s waht I´m wearing today. IT`S COLD! hahah :P 

Still a district leader still in the same area! :) I´m making one year with 2 areas.

Parabens pra você,
Nesta data querida,
Muitas felicidades
Muitos anos da vida!


Gettting old! haha jk jk my popz. I´ve got to go!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, July 2, 2012

:) :)


Man. When you think nothing is going right and that you just can´t seem to get it right. Biggest miracles happen in your life! So I´ll just write what I wrote in my journal to explain the miralce. :)

"These past two weeks have been a great spiritual expierence. It has been a great learning opportunity as well. We met this wonderful, perfect family! One day we were doing contatos like usual. When this 11 year old girl comes up to us and asks us how to say desculpa in english. So we tell her "sorry." After that we ended up invited her to our english class and asking if her parents would allow us to come over to leave a message with them.
We marked a date and kept having a good day. Well, that date came and they weren´t home, but we didn´t mark another date. After a couple of days I decided that we should try and pass by there again. This time the dad showed up! We asked him if we could leave a message with them and he said: 'I don´t know if my wife will allow it right now. She´s not accepting visits.' So I simply asked him to ask her if she would like to hear the word of God. And we entered!
Well, we taught the restoration, invited to read, to pray, and to be baptized on 1st of July (upon receiving a response!). They all accepted! Eliane (the mom), Evandro (the Dad), Rafaela (11 year old girl), Carlos (13 year old boy), Isabelle (7 year old girl), and Raul (3 year old boy) are the family. So after they accepted we also invited them to go to church that next sunday and they accepted as well! Me and Elder Steele got excited! It was wonderful! So we found out that Evandro works from 2-10 each day so the only time to catch him in house is the morning, but we still had to come back in the afternoon to teach carlos. (because he has school in the morning). Well, we decided just to meet them at church! But on saturday we had a lesson too!
So we went and picked them up for church. Well, Evandro walked out saying: Man, sorry I lost track of time, we aren´t ready lets leave it for next week! I got a little sad inside because for the past forever no one has been going to church! But I had been praying so hard for a miracle. So I decided to be a little persistant. And I told them, well, okay, but here in an hour we will come by to pick you up! We came back an hour later and yes, they were all ready and dressed up!
So we then got them to church! Had church and went home, them. Monday came and wasn´t P-day (because of transfers, so we could teach them in the morning and afternoon). and we taught them. So this is being lesson #3. We read 2nd nefi 31 with them and invited them again to be baptized. Rafaela was all about it. And eliane and Carlos were pretty good with it. This is when we found out that Evandro was already baptized and confirmed into the church! That was a big shock! I was super surprised but happy. It was good. So Eliane got super interested in everthing and asked about everything she had to do to get ready for baptism. We ended explaining almost everything! It was crazy! tithing, word of wisdom, law of chastity, day of lord, everything! Bascially it was very good.
Well we made goals with Eliane with coffee because she loved to drink it. But she told us  that she would do everything so that she could get baptized! I was happy with that. So on tuesday we just gave them a call to see how they were doing. Also, they absolutely loved church! But we visited them everyday. Brought the Presidente of the Relief society and her husband there too. And We found that Carlos and Eliane were having troubles letting go of their old stuff. So we had to help them with that and on friday them three had their interviews. The interviews went great! It was awesome! And on saturday Eliane and Evandro had some great spiritual expierences. Theses experiences were the turning point for them and on sunday all three were baptized! ..."

There was more but it´s to wirte all! Bascially it was amazing! we were able to baptize the family and reacitvate the dad! It was absolutely my favorite experience on the mission. I learned so much but I´ll leave that to my notes. I´m very excited and hoping that they continue so that at the end of my mission I can go to the temple with them! I would love that! To end my mission like that!

So I don´t have much time today, but I did enjoy all the stories and things. It was very good and funny :) Especially with Gavin! Parabens meu irmão! Você vai ser um ótimo pai, já sei!

man, I already gots to go! I´ll try and send the pictures of the baptism! :D yay! love you all!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Oi Minha Família!

Como vai? Aqui em Jacareí, as coisas estão indo bem. Ainda eu estou aqui, então, tou bem. Nossa! Eu vou ter um ano aqui na missão aqui em pouco, cê é loco! não acredito! Mas, como estão as coisas, lá? estão indo bem? espero que sim, por que todo dia eu oro pra vocês todos.

Anyways, man! Crazy week... good week... tiring week... but I´m very very happy. For this it was a good week! My presidente gave his last conference which was awesome! Loved it to death! Bascially he said some really inspiring things and I know how I can have success in my life ;) haha. So much stuff happened this week that my brain is dead. I feel like so much happens and that I want to say it all, but when it comes time to email I already forgot it all. But I will write things down. So that way I can write down my expierences! I need to do that!

But that being said, I have a great expierence that happened! This intire transfer we have been working very very hard and just having no at church, no results. I just became very very desanimated. It wasn´[t fun. I didn´t know what else I could do. I got tired of investigators empty promises for everything. I just couldn´t find the right people. I was wanting to find the elects really bad. Well, this past week, we were teaching people and we got more or less 10 people that would say they would go to church. Like usual, but good. So anyways, we go and try and find them and finally a family of 6 (4 that could be baptized) goes! a miracle happens! We finally had people at church and a complete family nonetheless! It made the happiest little missionary you have ever seen. I think I didn´t stop smiling yesterday, I was just so FLIPPING happy it was awesome! I feel like I´m finally doing what Presidente always says: Mark a diference! And I marked one. Well, today morning we went to visit them, and another crazy thing happens! They adored church first off. The mom, was in love with everything, except she said the people could sing faster :P haha. (i agree, but that´s cause I play piano) She absoltuely loved it, all of them did! Basically to wrap things up what happened: we talked about the date we marked with them and how that they should be baptized this sunday, and the dad looks up. The mom says, just tell them now. But he said: no no after... no no just tell them now. So at this point I´m trying to figure out what he´ll say and freaking out because I was thinking that something bad was going to happen. he said: I´m already baptized. And I start thinking, alright lets explain about authority again and explain all that again. But before I could he said, I´m already baptized in this church! And I just got shocked! haha. Basically, the dad was already baptized and confirmed in the church since he was eleven years old but he had forgotten, but when he went to church, he completely remembered!!! It was crazy. So the dad is a member, but the rest of the family isn´t and we are expecting 3 baptizms this week :) :) I´m VERY excited and VERY happy now. :):):) This gives so much motivation. Also, I´ll explain more later but also we had a very inspiring meeting with the bishop and we are going to be working a lot more with the ala,.... ward doing ativityes and other fun things liek that! One of them envolving throwing water balloons/pies/cakes in the faces of the elderes! It´ll be GREAT!!! love it.... anyways, I´m very excited and I hope I don´t get transfered. it´s 6ish here and I still don´t know what will happen wth the transfers tomorrow! But I´m pretty sure I´ll stay because I have to complete my training with my newbie! just kidding... with my companheiro! :D Anyways, WAY DANG EXCITIED! :D Please pray for them! Eliane, Carlos, Rafaela with be the ones to be baptized!

NEW BABY!!! Crazy go nuts..... That´s dank man dank mesmo. Carumba! meu irmão é um pai de verdade, cara, não acredito. Eu acho que você está mentindo pra mim, né? man, I´m an uncle... again! Sweetness in the ..... what rhymes with that. Who knows, but I do know that my bro is a pai! father! congrats! I bet he is freaking out right now :) I am, Im super excited and very jealous that I can´t be there, but I´m here in Brasil,.... so yeah. I just like to say that :) But I don´t have a cute little younglinho to call my own, so that is pretty cool, congrats to the broski, tá? Please, everyone learn português, I can´t write in english. It makes it harder to recount my stories cause I have to translate. don´t like! hahaah :P

How´s the world in Medford going? I keep on here that Mitt Romney is doing awesome! how many states are left now? It should be getting close to done now right? Then does it start the race between Mitt and Obama? Hey I don´t know if I told you but, I would love short sleeve white shirts. that´d be awesome! my shirts are stinky! just kidding, except not! haha! What now... So yeah.

Man, refelecting on everything I learned from the presidente has really made me to appreciate him and what he has done for me! At the conference, all the missionaries sang to him and his wife, "Juntos Pra Sempre" (Together forever) and man, I just started crying during it. I couldn´t help it, I´m going to miss that man so much. I will very much visit him at the house by the beach (as he likes to say :P) in Portugal. Did you know that his wife is from Angola in africa? That´s cool, I did know that but I felt like saying it now, don´t ask me why! :) So anyways, I´m trying to apply the things I learn from him everyday, and I feel like I have changed a whole lot. I feel like I know how to get exactly what I want (like with a goal) The diligence and persistence that comes  with it, is very required. I feel like I have changed a lot, but I don´t know. Anyways, I gots to go, still no call from the líderes de zona, so who knows what will happen, but I gots to go cleaning now! :) I love you guys and thanks for all your support and love! ps. I finished a letter to you guys p-units! Da hora? da hora :P tá? ta. LOve you guys! Be strong, mark a diference, and if you want sucess, do somthing never done before!

Com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

So I am very grateful for Phil, who also went on a mission to Brazil--I asked him to translate some of the Portuguese in Grant's letter:

Here is the translation from Grant's most recent e-mail. 

"Oi Minha Família!"

Como vai? Aqui em Jacareí, as coisas estão indo bem. Ainda eu estou aqui, então, tou bem. Nossa! Eu vou ter um ano aqui na missão aqui em pouco, cê é loco! não acredito! Mas, como estão as coisas, lá? estão indo bem? espero que sim, por que todo dia eu oro pra vocês todos."

Hi my Family!

How are you?  Here in Jacarei things are going well.  I am still here, so I'm well.  Wow! I will be on my mission for a year soon!  I can't believe it!  But, how are things there?  Are they going well?  I hope so, because everyday I pray for all of you.

"NEW BABY!!! Crazy go nuts..... That´s dank man dank mesmo. Carumba! meu irmão é um pai de verdade, cara, não acredito. Eu acho que você está mentindo pra mim, né?"

I don't know what "dank" is, not portuguese but also not any slang i know in english.   Carumba! (like saying crazy! but the word doesn't translate to crazy, the word itself doesn't really have any particular meaning)  My brother is a really a dad, dude, I don't believe it.  I think that you're lying to me, right?

"Da hora? da hora :P tá? ta."

Cool?  cool.  ok? ok. (da hora doesn't mean cool directly it really means "of the hour" but it is a slang meaning cool or rad or awesome etc.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Semana = Crazy!


Well my dear family and friends, yet again another week of the life of the missionary elder Meh-hiu (as they say my name here) has passed and gone! And it was CRAZY! So it is just lovely when you have the best investigators in the world and they decide to move on ya. That´s happening with some of  mine but I´m still allowed to teach them. So I´m happy :) But this past week we have interviews with the president. Man I love those things! They are the best ever :D We went there and man, I just feel like 150% better. Cleared some doubts with him and just I feel great! It´s magic.... you knooooooooow! (name the song, actually I don´t even remember the name). So but anyways, I just got super frustrated this past week, because I have been trying sooo hard to get investigators to church and this week, we weren´t allowed to brng them on sunday because there was a temple dedication of manaus. But on saturday was the celebration thingy of it, so we were supposed to bring investigators to that! Well, I was telling my leaders of zone that no one here in the ward or branch (including the president of the branch and bishop) knew about the saturday thing. Even the transmition guy had no idea about it. So on saturday night, me and my comp of awesomeness went on the bus (i had bought tickets for my investigators) alone because one of our investigators got drunk making his "wife" and kid get out of the house and they didn´t go. (Benedito, Ivrlei, and Thiago). So that was dandy! But we got there, and guess what? No transmition! WOOT! Basically I got super frustrated but we watched a baptism. Yay for that :D haha. Sisters are doing better than me... :P I´m just joking around. hahah. Anyways, basically saturday was stress and on sunday was good. foi de boa no domingo. Basicamente, eu estou sentindo loco porque nada estava dando certo. Mas eu estou feliz! But craziest thing of them alllllllls! Chegou a noite de domingo. There came night on domingo... sunday. And I get a call from the assitants. Okay, what did I do wrong... haha that´s what I thought. Because the assitants will only call for specific reasons. And he said, okay an emergency transfer is happening and you will stay in your area but you will be leader of district O_o <----- that was my thought. hahah.
Basically, we got new sets of zone leaders and they are the coolest guys ever! I love them to death! Elder Hedrick is one of them and he was my old companion. Bascially, SUPER EXCITED FOR THAT! And Elder Atkin, and he is one of the most honest and good heart loving missionaries that I know. Basically, super darn excited and freaking out because I´m district leader now. WHAT?!?! Anyways, that´s my big news for this week. You should send the emails tat louie does to me. I would LOVE that... yeah :P Also, I need more short sleeve white shirts. Or at least I think that would be a lovely present. haha.

It sounds like you guys are having a ball of fun over there in the united states! Can you check ohow cold it is here? Because it´s pretty freaking cold! I don´t like it. I´m freezing here. haha I got a little sick because of it.  but I´m almost over it now. But it won´t stop me!! Poor Gavin, not fun to throw up haha. By the way, I almost cried when I read what gavin said. I´m so happy he remembers me, I miss that little  guy... have a boy again jess! haha :P or i´ll just have one :P hahaha. Estou brincando, rapaz! But, I´m excited to meet Ruby to. I feel like i say those things ever time but that´s alllllll good :P I´ve got a tan mark where my watch is!!! I should probably take it off some times hahaha.

Who all graduated this year? (random thought: Laughed super hard at the picture of dad running :P hehehe) Hey! I´m making 11 months this wednesday! Yeah.. that´s cool hahah.

What other fun things do you guys have planned for summer? I can´t believe that it is summer there because It definitely isn´t here haha. :P So my companion is doing super well.! He´s helping me be a better missionary too. and he´s learning the language good. It´s too hard on himself because he´s doing really good for where he is at, but he wants to be further, but I don´t blame him, that´s how I was like too. But he´s a great guy!

But I love you guys and I have officially started writing a hand written letter to you guys and I promise I´ll finish it soon  :) YAy!  Love you all more than a fat kid loves cake, 2 cakes?! yes. Love you!

com grande amor, mais do que vocês conseguem imaginar,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill