Really not that much has happened this week, so this might be kind of a shorter letter.
Yesterday I actually got to see Hawaii! Our zone went and had lunch at a member's house (a $38 million mansion on the beach) Literally it was their yard, a gate, then sand. It was incredible! Hawaii's such a beautiful place, and I'm way too lucky to be serving here.
Also we got stuck in an elevator last night. We had 7 elders crammed in an elevator after a dinner appointment, and the elevator stopped halfway between floors. It was like a sauna inside and we ended up releasing the latch on the doors and climbing out. Probably the weirdest thing that's happened to me on my mission so far, but now I can say I've been trapped in an elevator.
Our baptism fell through this past saturday, but we rescheduled him to hopefully be baptized the 7th, along with his cousin!
I had my first real experience with the gift of tongues! We were tracting, and found a Marshallese lady who let us in. She was super fob (fresh off the boat) and didn't really speak English. I've never been confident in my Marshallese at all, and have also had a really hard time understanding what people were saying to me, but when we were talking to her, I could understand everything she was saying, and was able to get the point across that I wanted to. The only mistake I made was saying "bok" instead of "boktok". I was trying to say "next time we'll try to bring a Marshallese person, but instead said next time we'll try to receive a Marshallese person"
A cool experience we had, started about a week ago. We were walking down the street to a dinner appointment, when a lady stopped us. She told us that we were the fourth set of elders she's talked to about getting her baby a blessing. She said that she wasn't really active, but was raised LDS and understood how important it was for her baby to receive a blessing. I wrote her name down every day in my planner so we wouldn't forget. Then when we had time, a couple days ago, we stopped by her apartment. She said that we had come just in time because her and her baby had just contracted a cold, and that they both needed blessings. I was able to give her baby, Iolani, a blessing of health, and we were also able to give her a blessing of health, as well as comfort, because she told us she was worried about being a mom and about some other things. She is living with her boyfriend, and they apparently used to have the elders over all the time for dinner. They're a super cool couple and seemed really excited to have elders back in their home again. She said she couldn't wait to come to church and have her baby blessed, and also they invited us to come over for dinners once a week, and to teach her boyfriend.
It didn't seem like much at the time, but looking back it truly was a miracle. In the MTC they told us that God was preparing people for us to teach His gospel to, but this is the first instance in which that's taken real meaning, and effect in my life.
I love you all, thanks for everything. Stay strong and try to recognize the miracles God has worked for you. And remember, they may seem small and insignificant at first, but by small and simple things, are great things brought to pass.
Ij iakwe kom.
love, Elder Sammy Merrill