Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 55 - The Joys of Parenthood

Aloha all!
I hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend. We spent the day at a party for the Tongan Ward. There was plenty food and volleyball. In fact, I probably looked like I swallowed a volleyball after we were finished eating. I guess dropping the pounds after pregnancy is a lot harder than I thought;)
I also got my son this week! His name is Elder Neff. He's from Holladay, UT. He's Marshallese and was born in Majuro, but was adopted when he was 5 and raised in Utah. It's been fun so far. It's definitely not the easiest thing to raise a kid (I guess my parents were right) but we've had a lot of great experiences already. Hyrum, the 12 year old boy that we've been working with, was baptized this past thursday! I was able to arrange for Elder Neff to baptize him so I think that was a really great experience for both of them. Hyrum starting a new chapter in his life of following Christ, and Elder Neff to experience first-hand the joy and our purpose as missionaries his very first day in the mission field.
Our main investigators that we're working with are the same. Mary and her sister Catherine are both looking solid to be baptized on the 11th. They came to church again and loved it. We also met with Machat again this past sunday. He's definitely progressing and I feel like the more we read from the Book of Mormon with him, the stronger his testimony grows and the closer he becomes to entering the waters of baptism. This past week we read Alma 7 with him and taught how that chapter illustrated the importance of baptism and how essential that ordinance really is. The spirit was really strong and I know it touched him. He said he doesn't know if the marriage and baptism will happen on the 18th,  but he'll talk to his girlfriend and set a date that they both feel comfortable with.
We also had our first lesson with this girl named Jolena. She is the girlfriend of a less-active member. The boyfriend's parents and most of his siblings are active in the church, but he sort of fell away. They both came to church this past sunday and we shared the message of the Restoration with her that night. I didn't think she'd be that interested because of the way she hesitantly accepted our invitation to take the lessons when we met her last week, but she actually seemed very interested, paying close attention and telling other people to shut up when they got too loud.
I've been in Waipahu for 7 months now. It's been a long time, but I still love serving here. There's always work to do and people progressing. Just when our teaching pool starts to dwindle, there's someone we meet that's unbelievably prepared to hear the message we have to share. I can truly testify that the Lord is hastening His work because I see it every day.
Love you guys and hope you have a great week!
Elder Merrill

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