Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 56 - Aloha

Friends and family, Aloha!
This week was a great week for Elder Neff and I. We taught a lot of lessons, have investigators that continue to progress toward baptism, and are getting along great! I'm the one training him, but I feel like I'm learning just as much from him as he is from me. It's also been interesting watching him find out people in the branch that he's related to. People will find out he's Marshallese, then find out he's adopted and ask who his birth parents are. He'll tell them his mother's name, and then they'll say something like "Oh that's my cousin!" And then the next hour consists of them telling him all about his family. Too bad there's no Koreans in our branch...
We're working most closely with Mary and Catherine right now. They're both set for baptism on this Saturday, the 13th. It's incredible how much they understand, and how much they already know. I think they're more knowledgeable and teachable than almost any other investigators I've had on my mission, and they're only 8 and 9 years old! They're really excited for their baptism and they have a great support system with their mom and grandparents.
We're still working with Machat. He actually had his baby blessed yesterday at church! It was his first time back at church since his baby's been born because he's been staying home with his girlfriend to help take care of her every sunday. But he told us that from now on they'll all be coming to church every week. It was really neat, because his girlfriend's dad is like a king in the Marshall Islands, there were like 50 non-members that showed up to sacrament meeting yesterday to see the baby blessed. None of the ones we talked to seemed to be very interested in hearing about the gospel, but it was neat to see the support that everyone showed.
We also had a cool experience this past week when we went to visit this girl that was on the unbaptized child list. They have an intercom speaker to get into their apartment building and the person has to answer and buzz you in before you can enter. So we called and someone said "hello?". We replied "Hi, it's the missionaries!". I'm not really sure what happened next, but we heard a sound on the speaker like someone dropped the phone, then shortly thereafter they hung up. We tried calling back a few more times after that, but nobody answered. So we just brushed it off and kept going.
Then yesterday in our branch council meeting someone mentioned having ran into the dad of that family by some weird coincidence and talked about how they needed to get home and visiting teachers into that house to help them out. We then told how we had tried to visit that same family over the past week and our branch council discussed how we could get into the house and what people to take with us. It was a small and simple manifestation of how the Lord always provides a way when we are willing to do our part and try.
I love you all and am so grateful for the love and support you show to me.
Elder Merrill

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