Monday, March 26, 2012

Got nothing to put here.


Man... What an emotional week hah. Yeah I know Elder Schenk, he was in my zone at Limoeiro. He's a good friend of mine too. It's been hard but I know that he is in good hands. We get updates every so often. Tomorrow we have a conference in sao paulo and his parents will be there. I just really hope he's doing good. But I'm doing good and concentrating on the work here. Just keep me updated if there's major changes or something!

These past couple of weeks have been hard for me. Especially this last one. We lost the family that we brought to church. Basically. They just told us that they were visiting. They were understanding the switching of churches as just this and not a switch to the true church. Also Pedro that taught lost complete interest in the church  as well. Our problem now is we need to find new people.  I just know that I really am wanting to be senior companion. We need to do so many contacts. My problem is consistancy. I do  really well one day but the next, not so good. I need to do AWESOME everyday! haha. But it's getting a little bit better. But I am really excited for conference this weekend! Gives us a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people. The only problem is that conference is at the stake center which stays at São Jose dos Campos. That's like an hour bus ride away. It will be hard to bring people there. But it's possible :)

I've learned so much as a missionary and it has been and is being the greatest blessing in my life. But what i've learned is that you have to BE a missionary and not just BE on the mission. I've seen plenty of missionaries going home that I feel like they could have be way more. But it isn't for me to judge and I just know I have to do what is right no matter what the other missionaries are doing. Because there's what is common and what is normal. We should do the thing that is normal and not common.

Well, I got to go. I will probably get the package tomorrow but I don't know. Sorry it's kind of short and boring today, I'll try and be more interesting next time haha :) But just keep praying for elder schenk and his family and I know that whatever happens is the will of the Lord and maybe the will of the Lord is hard but it is what it is. I know this church is true and I know the book of mormon is true.

Elder Grant Shaw Merrill

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Please Pray For Elder Schenk

Some of you may have noticed a bit of an encryption in Grant's last e-mail:  "This week was really hard not with the work so much just with some other things that happened on the mission. But what I´ve learned is to always keep my head forward and keep my focus. Just remember this week keep the missionaries in your prayers!"

Well at the end of his letter he had asked us to not include some news--he wanted us to fast and pray for Elder Schenk--a missionary in his mission who was hit by a bus last Friday and almost died. He said they weren't supposed to really talk about it. Well, today through my LDS Living e-mail they had the story--which links you to the Deseret News article. This is the link to the LDS Living site where the story begins. You can then link to Desert News.

I am also including the link to the blog that his family started to update family and friends concerned about Elder Schenk's progress. It is inspiring.

Let us all keep Elder Schenk & his family in our prayers. I am so grateful for my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I only hope that if I was faced with such an event I could have the courage and grace and faith that this family seems to have.

Love--Coleen (Grant's Mom)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blessings of the Lord!


So this was a crazy week.. man. Sunday was awesome! We brought a family to church and a member brought a friend. This family we began teaching a little bit ago and they are sweet! They lived in the united states for a while during hurricane katrina. They said they attended baptist but our church was always making sure that they had food in their fridge! So they have a really good view of the church already. That was really important and they really want their kids in a church and to be raised in a church now (because they stopped going to baptist). we invited them to be baptized and they accepted and if all goes well they will be bapitzed this next sunday! The rapaz... young man... that the member brought was really sweet! We went to the members house yesterday to teach him and man, he loved everything. Once again accepted the baptism invite and wants to be bapitzed this week we just have to get permission from the parents. Really what I've learned that blessings do come but it is after a lot of work. Read Alma... I think it's 32. About the zoramites and how alma said that they received a group of people to teach and help after a lot of work. They were a stubborn people but there was a people prepared to hear the gospel that were humbled amongst them. Our job is to work so much that we find those people. The people that want to hear our message are the people that we should find and teach!

This week was really hard not with the work so much just with some other things that happened on the mission. But what I've learned is to always keep my head forward and keep my focus. Just remember this week, keep the missionaries in your prayers!

Did you know that there is a outback steak house in sao paulo? Just thought I would let you know! By the way I'm excited to get the package :) The last one was awesome and yes I shared... :P hahaha. I was thinking about "Elder F. Morgan" this week and how he became zone leader. Made me remember how I've been wanting to become senior and district leader. haha. I don't know why but I really want to be a leader. that or train. Lately I've really been wanting to train a missionary. I think that would be really good for me to learn more and grow. But now I'm just thinking out loud. haha :P

Oh hey Dad, if you will be painting the rooms, just don't paint it pink like it was hahah.

This past week I finished Jesus the Christ. Man what a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet book! It BLOWs your mind out of your head with awesomeness. Yes, it was very inspiring and really goes into great detail about things. I learned so much and now i have started the old testament. My goal is to finish the old testament and the book of mormon when I make one year on the mission. and then I will start over again :) But yes, studies are important. Sorry but I got to be get going soon! We have a conference this week and I got to get my haircut. It's big haha... Hey also, check my facebook! A member logged onto my facebook to add himself so that he could send a picture of my new president in july! :)

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I was robbed!


I´m getting adjusted to this area. I think haha. The hardest part for me still is remembering where everything is haha. This week has been really hard on me mentally. There in the city são paulo i had a lot of success. It was really really easy to find the people that were prepared by the Lord. There was always someone willing and wanting. Here, it's very similar, but everyone seems to be satisfied with their religion. Everytime we talked about the book of mormon with people, the people just understood it as the word of God. Which is great, but they weren't understanding that if the book of mormon was true that means this church is true. They seem to accept any "word of god" that is said to them but want to just stay in their church. It was very difficult for me because for me I thought I was teaching very clearly and direct, but they weren't seeming to understand. sadly, once again we didn't bring anyone to church. It was really hard for me because the last transfer we brought people to church every week and baptized almost every week. I tried applying everything I learned from my last area, but it goes to show we are humbled fast and sometimes we can do all we can and still have nothing. But that just means I have to work harder to find those prepared. I have noticed that my happiness is more when I am in the service of the lord and even more when I am baptizing.

Yesterday something sweet happened!! Well... kind of hahaha. :P I was robbed!!! It was kind of annoying because we were robbed by 2 16-17 year old kids. But what can you do. They came up to us on bikes while we were heading home (it was 8:30) and I just kept walking because I thought they were just wanting to be stupid hahaha (I don't know how to explain it but there's always young guys that just mess with us haha) but anyways I heard one of them say "I'll shoot you if you don't stop!" So obviously I stopped hahaha. And I looked at him and I thought "Man, I'm getting robbed! I'm not giving him my cards." haha. so He was holding "his gun." But he wasn't showing him. I almost have certainty that he didn't have a gun by the way he was "holding it" under his shirt and in his pants. It was weird haha. But anyways, he told me to empty my pockets and my bag. So I pulled out where I keep my money but I kept my bag because i was not going to let him have it. I just pulled out a 20 I had (i had 2 20's actually because we had to get more money) and gave him that 20. But then he said give me the rest. And i just said, no I just have this. I only have this. And he got mad and him and his friend ran out and he started cursing me out and tudo isso. It was crazy. It was just annoying because I felt stupid afterward hahaha and my comp got our cell stolen and 80 reais (money) Anyways, about 10 other people saw them robbing us (it was on the street right before our street where we live) and called the police. Police never showed haha. Kind of expected that because nothing was really robbed of us big. Just today we had to fill out a form thing to make sure we don't have to pay for the phone. But that was the crazy event for the week! Oh funny part. Because I wasn't prepared for getting robbed I just handed him what was in my hand at the time hahaha so I gave him my pen and my soccer jearsy that I got from a member that day. But he threw the shirt down and said "No I'm corintians not santista!" (different teams) So luckly still got it! hahaha.

Louie and Shelby will be really awesome missionaries they'll love it :) I definitely want to hear the primary kids too! So I made the hamburger stuff over rice! Well almost! I used tomatoe sauce instead of cream of mushroom soup because they don't have that here. But it was good. Not same but good still :) I'm learning how to cook :] hahah. I make...strogonoff? I think that's how you spell it but here in Brasil it's actually really good :) Anways...thought I would let you konw... haha

You got an I-phone? That's sweet :P I don't even know what's new and cool anymore haha. Just kidding. So yeah I just used my debit card recently because i wanted to buy a hammock. That's why there was a charge in that. But we get fed, pretty okay. But let's just say I still have my opportunties to get better at cooking :) hahaha.

This area here is really cool. I like it a lot. the people are really good people too. And the bishop is really cool too. I haven't had too much interaction with him, but he makes the list :) haha. So we live with other missionaries. We don't live in our area but close by. We live under some membros.

So I laughed so much when I read that story about adam and gavin. It was sooo funny hahahaha. Wish I could've seen it! :P hahahah.

Insert: This is the story I shared with Grant:
Oh, yeah, another funny story--Jessica told me that when she got home from her Relief Society activity Adam was telling her about putting Gavin to bed. Adam was laying on the bed with Gavin and Adam fell asleep--according to Jessica that is usually what happens. Anyway, when he woke up there was Gavin--still awake--totally naked on the bed next to him. He had taken all his jammies and diaper off. When Adam woke up, Gavin starts laughing and bouncing around. He's a funny kid.

Me and you, dad, had like that same first expierences with first area huh? Cool. :P 

Oh! Crazy awesome thing. We went to the chapel wednesday night for english class. We met a returned elder there. And he just got back from serving in... Porto Alegre South!! How Crazy! and I asked him if he knew Elder F. Morgan and he said yeah he's a great friend of his! And then he showed me a photo of them together and then I started missing him again. hahaha. But it was so cool and I just got all super excited with that :D hahah. His name is Elder Carvalho.

Ask him too if he remembers a Irmão Cavalcante in the CTM. The mom of him said he taught a Elder Merrill.

Well, anyways I got to get going now but Always awesome to write you guys :) Tchau I love you!

Com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, March 5, 2012


I was transferred! This was a hard week for me! I cried a little bit ha.. But because when I got transferred I looked at my pictures and started missing the people I baptized a lot... Man, that was hard. A woman I baptized (Sônia) made a huge cake for me. It was the best :P Hahaha. I have...saudades... I miss them lots now! But that's okay I know that I'm here in this new area to serve the people here :) Whoa wait... better :) haha.
This week I've been thinking about studies and why they are so important. There is a difference between reading and studying. We can read the book of mormon all we want and get nothing out of it. But if we study the scriptures we can understand everything. This is so important. For me this is why I never will study the scriptures without something to mark them and a notebook. I always need a notebook so that I can write everything I'm learning. I've filled one of those notebooks you gave me mom. hahah. I'm on number two and I have other notebooks that I use to write more that I learn. But I've amazed myself how much I have learned. My goal for this transfer is to finish jesus the christ, (i've been slacking) and start the old testament! Crazy but awesome!
I'm glad you like my CD! haha I almost forgot about that! I've really been missing the violin. Piano I get to play A LOT because there is always a piano, but still it's not the same haha. But I'm doing good :)
I got the package this week! I still kept the other fan from that one package so now I have two :) Collection... STARTED! hahaha. I loved the shirt too! Got jealous but loved it! :) haha. So hey, when does Louie leave for his mission? Has he already gone or no? I'm confused! hahah.
So that guy gave his testimony again?!? Oh man... hahah. did you know that he believes he is Jesus? yeah.. He's cool :) haha.
I forgot to say! I was transferred to Jacareí! It's a town. There's são Paulo, go like... 2 hours out and you hit São José dos Campos. Then one more hour and you hit Jacareí! Man, it's soooooooooo beautiful here! I forgot what green looks like. I got used to buildings everywhere that I forgot what green was. Also, the people here drive so much more slowly and also i don't know they are just different here. I think I will like this area a lot! It's huge though. My area is more than half the town and the branch has a little bit of the town. But it's definitely a lot different. Also there was .... favela... like... ghetto where i was. in limoeiro. But this time it's all good! doesn't really have favela
I thought I was going to be senior this transfer (and so did my zone leaders and my companion) but still junior! I am VERY certain that I will be senior the next transfer. Scary but cool! I'm feeling a little bit like senior because my companion is leaving next transfer so he's trunkie :P not the same amount of trunkiness like my other companion but still :P I just know I will have to work very hard this transfer! :)
Dad, glad you had fun at the conference. Always you get to watch games huh? :P That's cool :P LUCKY! hahaha. There's a river here in this town and I imdeitaly (how do you spell that word?!) thought of you! Because I wanted to fish.. hahah :P Anyways, we will be leaving soon! But thanks for the pictures! I will be sending a letter soon and I have some pictures to send! :) Okay? okay! With a new computer also, maybe It will work to send pictures, I forgot my camera again but i'll try next time okay? okay! I love you guys lots! And just know that Ì'm happy here on my mission :) It's been the most rewarding thing of my life :)
Com Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!