Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Man, I have no idea what to put for subject lines sometimes, so I´ll just start my e-mail now


Como vocês estão? bem? Que bom. Tá bom, vamos começar com uma oração! Estou brincando :P

Hey! So before I forget because I´m thinking of it right now! Funny story. I unclogged a toilet by blowing into it! Yeah! Next story! just kidding I´ll explain haha. So, I clogged a toilet and then I ask the Irmão there if there was a plunger, and then I remembered oh yeah I´m in Brasil. haha So then he gave me this huge long stick with holes on either end and told me to start blowing! And that´s what I did... so gross... but it worked... I miss plungers... hehehe :P

So this week, we worked like in crazy amounts! This is week two into the transfer and we have 6 or so pages of contacts already... Man... It´s so many people it´s crazy! but that´s why you got to see who is progressing and who isn´t and already put people in the book of area for other people.

Cool story! I don´t know if I told you guys about Sandra! But anyways one of our contacts was this girl who had some piercings on her face and stuff but we went up to her and just did a contact with her and marked another day to pass by there. And then on sunday we passed by to visit her and her family and there was Talita (the girl), Tatianna, Tiago, Kimberely, and Sandra. And Sandra is the mom and Kimberely is "married" to Tiago. So anyways we just taught the first lesson and invited all of them to be baptized and they all accepted it super fast! It was so awesome! I loved it! So we marked them to be baptized for the 3rd of june (now we have to remark it because they didn´t go to church) but it was just super sweet. Gave them all book of mormons and we invited them to read parts of it. Next time we went over there, they didn´t read it because of lack of time, but we read it with them. The moment we read it with them, Sandra told us, you know just from reading it right now, I already know that it is true. I know it is! It was so awesome! And it really showed the faith people have, especially in the missionaries. Because that was the seconed time we wmet with them and they were alreday put everythign into it. I´m just very excited for them, but because of some problems with the mom of Sandra they didn´t go to church, but they´ll go I know it :) yes!! Anyways, there was more details to that, but it´s hard to write all of it in english haha.

I was pretty disappointed this week though. Even with tons of progress moving and we have 13 or so people that we were planning on taking to church. 0 of them went! AH! man, sundays are such stressful days for me. There´s a reason why P-day is right after! haha. So I just had gotten discouraged with that especially that this next sunday is stake conference, and that willl be hard to bring people to and then the next week is a temple dedication and we aren´t allowed to bring investigators to that (obviously!) haha. But so I´m just trying my best to help all these people understand the message and importance of it. I´m also trying my best to work more with the ward. That can be tricky at some times. Just let me summerize, as a trainer (especially training an american) I do everything. Man, it´s a big jump and I´m more tired (physically and mentally) than I have been on my mission! But I´ts good for me. I just really hope that I´m doing what I can to train Elder Steele right. He definitely is better at obeying the rules with exactness than me. But we certainly have been seeing the blessings flowing from our work and fasting and praying. I´ve gained a big testimony on fasting from this two weeks as well. I really need all the blessings I can get so I try to do everything I can hahah. But you can do all of that, but if you do not have diligence it does not matter!

Man I love being a missionary. Don´t want to stop.

The momster is getting a taste of the errand life! Woot! hahah. :P Random thought: Priesthood line? Did you guys get that yet? Anyways, Sarah is going to Russia?!?! What the heck! That´s super crazy! AH! hahaha. Man, that´s so crazy! I loved Louie´s message btw! :)

I loved the pictures of Elder Schenk also! Elder Squires always tells funny or cool stories that happened with them and I keep in my prayers everyday. I do miss having him around, he´s an awesome guy and a campeão! (champion)

Man, I loved the story about Gavin! I bet he´ll be a computer wiz when he grows up! i can see it already! haha. Now he just needs to skype the people where we have lunch! :P hahah just kidding :P

Mom, why do you put Mom J at the end of your message? hahah

Hey dad, that experience you had is the spirit saying, "don´t watch any other awesome movies without your son grant!" hahaha :P And dad didn´t you say that I would be a trainer in the next transfer during skype? I think so!

Well anyways, my time this time is short, but I love you guys and you guys are super sick! (like sick being awesome hahah :P) Anyways, e-mail time is always a blast! Love you guys!

Com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, May 21, 2012


Oi minha família, sejam bem-vindos para a carta do Élder Merrill aqui em Jacareí!

Alrighty! So this past week we have been tearing things up. It´s been super duper good! My companion went his merry way to home haha but in the end he wasn´t so sure about it. He was getting pretty sad that he was leaving brasil. So that's good right? haha. Anyways, so on monday night (transfers happened on tuesday) we are waiting for the call to know what will happen with me. Well, we get the call, and lo and behold! I´m training!!! AHH! What?!? What´s that about? I have no idea how to do that hahah. But yeah so i´m a trainer now and I´m training Elder Steele. (have you realized that in my entire mission I´ve only had one brasilian companion. weird huh?) Anyways, he is from Washington and way sweet! He´s way obedient with the rules and the helps me to be the best missionary that I can be. I think he´s taught me more than I have taught him :P haha.

Anyways, I think I´m doing things the right way. We are following the "First Twelve Weeks" program and he has been progressing really well. We´ve been keeping busy and doing tons of stuff each day. We already filled up two pages of contacts in 4 days! Man, i´ve been tired. the thing about being senior and trainer is that you have to do EVERYTHING. So I´m very tired this week and grateful for p day today to recharge my batteries! I´ve also realized how bad my english is haha. Because somethings he will ask me what a word means and I know exactly what it means, but I do not know that word in english for it. It just means that in português for me haha. It´s really weird but cool. I have also grown in my understanding and speaking SO MUCH in portugues just by being a trainer. It really has been a huge blessing in my mission. I´m very grateful for this opportunity that president has given me!

Speaking of President! This is his last transfer! And then he goes home! :( I´ve very torn. I would rather him stay him until the end of my mission but I know that the next president will be very good. He has just been very good for me. He has also made me realize how grateful I am to have a dad who is a worthy priesthood holder and loving to his kids and wife. So thanks dad for being awesome! :)

Talking on skype seems like foreeeeeeeeeeever ago!

This week we had miracles happen! So working very hard, we fasted from lunch friday to lunch saturday to help a man get baptized and to have more people. Well, he ended up not getting baptized and he was the only one at church, but the miracles are that we found soooooooo many new people to teach that are super excited and are wanting to go to church. They have already accepted to be baptized too and we have so many appointments this week to invite others as well. I know we will have people  at church this next sunday and we are trying to help the man (Valdir) stop smoking and drinking coffee (mocha ;) haha) and feel more ready for the baptism of him! So it just has been a very uplifting week in regard to that we are working very hard and finding new people that are excited! YAY! Just to end this part, miracles really do happen. I have too many that happen each week to count. But the way God prepares people is amazing. For example this week we found a family that first time teaching, taught about the restoration, invited to pray, invited to be baptized on the 3rd of junho, and invited to go to church this week. From the first time meeting them, they said yes yes and yes. It just was really amazing and I´m very excited to work with them! :)

I´m glad you guys are having experiences with those that are new or less-acitve in the church. This is something that I feel like I need to get better at. I spend so much time on finding new people to bring into the church that maybe I forget to help those that are already in. But I´m getting better (or trying) everyday.

Random thought: The book of Job is good. I like it a lot because it explains how perfection works. it explains that perfection is impossible without trials. We can think that adam and eve were perfect but they weren´t yet. They were in an innocent state. Perfection comes from trial and error. It comes from learning and growing. This is why there is the necessity of having trials and provações. I forgot that word, ask Phil. It´s basically trials I thinks haha. Anyways, so that´s why we are here on the Earth, to learn and grow and strive for the state of perfection one day!

So I don´t remember the Pastrano´s but that´s a very awesome story! :)  Tell the christensons that sorry I haven´t written for very long, but I promise I will! alright? good, then cause I feel bad :P hahah.

I´m very excited for Jared to go on a mission. I know he will love it and it will help shape him and help him become who he wants to be! Tell him what´s up for mi! :P thanks p-units hehe. Josh and meghan are graduating?!? WHAT?! I´m so confused, I´ve only been gone for 10 months. Man... that´s weird hahah.

If they post any pictures of elder schank I would love to see! speaking of pictures, I think an irmã here marked me in pictures on facebook if you would like to see! :)

By the way dad, I laughed very hard at the joke actually. and I´m glad I understood it too :P haha. It was pretty funny haha :P :P also, I hope when I do get back we could go on home teaching visits again, I would like to do that! yes and please :D woohoo!! haha.

Well, it´s always way awesome getting to e-mail you guys and I can´t wait to talk to you guys next week! :) The work is moving here now and I´m training now O_o just crazy stuff haha. but it´s all a rewarding experience!

Eu sei que esta Igreja é verdadeira e que Jesus Cristo é meu salvador. Sou mutio grato pelas bênçãos eu já rebeci em minha vida com minha família e, também, o evangelho de Cristo. Mutias vezes, fica difícil para continuar em nossas vidas, mas se nós continuarmos com fé em Cristo, nós vamos ser abençoados! :) Peace out my family and friends hahaha :P

Com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!

Note:  So here's the joke that Evan told Grant:

So Bill Gates died and went to Heaven.  God judged him and sendthim to his eternal home.  It was a small home, one story, very modest, but nothing like his earthly home.  He was quite disappointed and thought he should have received a more glorious mansion for all the great technological advances that he helped to make.  He looked across the street and saw a huge beautiful mansion and thought, “I wonder who’s eternal home that is?”  So he walked across the street to see who it was.  He knocked on the door and was surprised to learn that it was the captain of the Titanic.  He thought why should he have a bigger eternal home than him?  So he asked him and the Captain said, “Well, I only crashed once!”

Monday, May 14, 2012

After Mother´s Day!

I want to preface this post with a note about yesterday. Mother's Day was great--we were able to Skype with Grant. He looks great, he sounds great, he is great. He is happy and enjoying serving his Heavenly Father in Brazil. We were able to bring Phil & Corinne & Jessica & Adam and their kids, Gavin & Ruby in on the Skype session. Although all of my kids are far away, we spent a couple hours together. After, we brought Grant's grandma, Gandma Merrill, in on the call. It was a great visit.


Well it was super good to talk to all you guys and see you guys too! Skyping is definitely something way awesome that I love haha. I probably had other stuff I wated to say but I honestly can´t remember if there was or not haha. So tonight we will find out if I stay or if I go. I´m 90% sure that I will stay but who knows! haha. I´m pretty sure. We confirmed Kaio on sunday. So now he is an official member of the church, :) it just makes me so happy seeing them take that step in life and putting all trust into the Lord. That´s something thtat really does make me happy and I am so grateful for this opportunity to have this joy in my life and bring it unto others as well!

So Gavin is getting huge!! Man and I´m surprised haha but that is sweet! Ruby is cute as heck too! Man, I definitely miss them and you guys but I´m so very happy to be here :) I can´t believe that Grandma will be turning 90 she just looks so good still :) I´ve been analyzing my mission lately and I`m trying to make it the thing that changes my life the most, and it really has. It has given me vision to my life and helped me see what really is important in my life!

Next week I´ll let you know how the transfers were and of how the work is going! Thanks for being awesome!!

com amor,

Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

Monday, May 7, 2012

Next Week!


Alrighty! Happy news! Kaio was baptized this sunday past! Yes I´m so happy! I was so happy for him and that he got baptized. He was going to the church for more than a year and finally he was baptized! haha. That´s so good :) His parents were there and I hope they liked it :)

The work here in Jacareí is getting better slowly! That´s for sure! I´m definitely learning lots! We had a really good training with our president this week. It was actually his last one before he leaves which is weird! But I definitely will miss him tons. He´s helped me out so much and he just knows what´s right. He talked about some very spiritual expierences that had happened with him and Elder Schenk and his family and all that and just it made my testimony grow even more. I won´t share what he said because it was pretty sacred but I just know that the power of the priesthood is true and the priesthood keys are true as well. If we have faith and we are worthy. We can perform miracles. Just think about any story in the bible and see how the priesthood was used and you will see that it is powerful and real. It makes me so happy for my examples in my life and made me think of Dad as well. I was realizing how great of an example Dad is for me in my life. You always treated mom with the most upright respect and were always the most loving and just in everything you did you did it with honor. You truely showed me how a father and husband should be. I know I´m extremely blessed to have parents like you guys and I want to be like you guys and especially like dad (cause he´s a guy :P hahaha) when I´m a father.

Man, everytime I hear Gavin stories I miss him more :P Hes so awesome!!! Jared will be a very awesome missionary! I´m so excited to hear about him more! I will definitely want to receive his e-mails! Transfers are next week!

Alright, sorry I´m not having too much time these past couple of times and my mind has been everywhere so I haven´t been able to say a whole lot sorry, but I´ll get back in the groove :P haha but I love you guys!

com amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill

So I had a little treat today--Grant was on line while I was at work so we were trying to figure out the best time to talk next Sunday for Mother's Day--I had to laugh with his final e-mail:

Okay, so I hope that works! We will plan on 4:30-5 okay? :) Man, I´m nervous, english is hard :P haha. but I´m way excited! :) I can´t wait until next sunday Mom, I love you so very much! :)

It's hard to imagine that English is now his hard language!