Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23rd

February 23, 2010

Today is transfers and I'm getting transferred in zone. There are only 3 areas I could go to and there’s a really good chance I’ll go to the other half of the ward I'm currently in. I'm glad about that. I love this ward. My investigators are doing pretty good. They’re progressing. They're not going to be baptized as soon as we thought but that's OK as long as they do it. I just finished the entire missionary library. I learned a new way to study that is helping a lot with retention and everything.
Gotta run. Transfers are in a half hour.
Love ya bye
Elder Merrell

(After transfers)

I’m in Seattle 1 B which is ballard and magnolia. I’m senior companion. Elder Rosewood is my companion. He’s been out for 15 months. He’s from some small place in Utah. Hopefully we get along good.

Februrary 15th

I'm doing good. It's been stressful. When you become a spiritual leader to the people you teach you get a lot of baggage thrown on you and it gets overwhelming. So Elder Bunton and I are using today to relax with good ole board games.

Here's the thing about seeing sights in Seattle. I drive by every single one every day. We were at the Seattle Center on Saturday night and there was a Zulu show going on. Its like an art show with graffiti. It was way sweet. They had tarps up with boards and they were tagging the boards. It was funny because one of the kids not in the show was cleaning paint off the sidewalk where he had sprayed something.
We have 4 people preparing to be baptized. Same old Same old with them nothing too exciting with that.

Its crazy to me how messed up people can get. Jesus probably saw a lot of bad stuff as He walked through all the bad parts of the Jerusalem area but it never phased Him.
Anyways i had a dream a couple nights ago and don't remember what it was about. I don't have dreams so it was kind of weird with this one. The only thing i remember is waking up in the middle of the night with a distinct impression that i need the large print scriptures. I remember that i used them to help someone but that's all i remember. I'll get a set probably at my next temple day if i don't get transferred into the temple area.

Elder JJ

February 8th

We’ve had a lot of progress made with our less actives. Were meeting with 2 new ones this week. 2 of the less actives we’ve been visiting made some great bounds this week.
We met Hanna on Jan 2nd. She's been coming to church ever since. She quit drinking Jan 3rd. She told us yesterday that she’d quit smoking on Feb 4th. I’m impressed at how much progress she’s making. We’ve had a lot of very spiritual experiences with her since we’ve met her. Those aren’t for me to say though. She’s been great at fellowshipping other less actives and our investigators at church.
Craig was another less active that surprised us. He is from Taylor, AZ. We met him through his neighbor that we tracted into. His neighbor wasn't interested but we’ve been stopping by about once a week for the past month. We brought Bishop this last week with us to introduce Craig to him. Craig was very adamant about not coming to church. Then out of nowhere he showed up yesterday. My excitement was like that of baptizing someone and looking back at all the work that went into getting that person there. He didn’t know where the church was and had to look it up. He then took a cab to church. He wasn’t without excuses to not come. He stayed for all the classes. He won’t admit it but it think he liked it.
One of our less actives has a daughter that is into pokemon. She's 9 and isn’t baptized because her dad wont let her til she’s 12 and can make her own decision as an "adult". We played the pokemon card game with her a couple days ago. It took me back to my roots. She started trash talking and i might have gotten a little competitive and trashed talked back too. Anyway after an epic battle that took like an hour I came off conqueror.
I should probably stop working out so much. My suits are getting too loose in the pants and are too small in the shoulders. I’m doing fine right now but at some point in my mission i might have to get a new suit.
Elder Bunton and I bought a board game to help pass the time. Its very fun. Its kind of like risk but faster and more exciting. There are different characters with their own unique abilities and also powers to make up a lot of different combinations. Its helped make better companion unity when we don’t get too competitive.
I’ve almost muscled my way through Jesus the Christ. I started that when I got to the MTC and have about 200 pages left. It’s helped a lot to make sense of His mortal life.

Lots of love to everyone
Elder JJ

February 2nd

No real news this week. We had zone conference on Friday. They focused on going back to the fundamentals. It has helped immensely in the past few days.

We had our temple day today which is why p-day was on Tuesday. I put grandma and grandpa Merrell on the prayer roll. Which was odd cuz I didn't even know anything was wrong til this afternoon.

We haven't gone back to safeco field because the guy never called us but we have people falling out of the sky with the rain. We got a media referral (mormon.org) last week and were teaching her and it is way legit. She's already on date for March 6th. MacKenzie is on date for the 27th. Shes having some trouble with her mom. Her moms a devout catholic and doesn't know that Mackenzie is about to be baptized. So all our lessons are going towards that helping with that. Judi is still on date for the 20th right now. Her hold up is a guy she took in.

The Lord is blessing us left and right but its going to be awesome.
Thanks for the emails and letters and packages and stuff.

Elder JJ

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25.2010


We blessed a less active's home and gave a sister a blessing this week. I wore just a short sleeve shirt for like 2 days this last week. It was like high 50s low 60s.

So the high light of my week was on Friday had about 7 less actives in the southernmost part of our area so we chose to go contact all those members. The first address took us right next to SafeCo field (Mariners stadium) we walked up the block across from the field and realized we were on the wrong side of the street. We look across and all there was was SafeCo. We figured it was a wrong number but decided to check it out anyways. We walked into the team store and asked if a Richard Griffin worked there. They gave us a funny look and said he was the Mariners trainer! We were sent to the executive offices and the receptionist called him up. He was in a training session and was really busy. He said he hadn't had contact with missionaries in 20 years, but was sorry he missed us. We left a note with our number on it. As we were leaving the receptionist gave us a backpack. Its supposed to look like the back of a jersey and says Griffey on it with the number 24. WAY LEGIT!!!

After that we had to penetrate a coast guard base trying to find one of our less actives. That one was a little trickier. We couldnt get a hold ocouldn'tbut the experience was fun.
Its taken a little bit but Elder Bunton and I get along good now. We butted heads a lot before.

We're working on Robecca's car tonight so she can drive herself to church which will help alot. I'm trying to learn little phrases from her tribal language. Right now i know hello and goodbye. Elder Bunton is trying to learn chinese too. One of his investigators in his last areas gave him a book with a cd to learn it. And lets just say the garbage disposal is a good spot for it right now.

So heres the update on our less actives.
total members in our area: 428
active members in our area: 108
number of people weve contacted: somewhere around 75
how many more people to contact: who knows

Oh one of the less actives is bipolar/paranoid and the first time we met him I feared for my life. Another one of those satan experiences. But last night he was totally fine so we'll see what happens there.

Zone conference is this week. I'm way excited for that.

My new favorite scripture:
D&C 75:2-5

Elder JJ Merrell

Monday, January 18, 2010

Still in Queen Anne

January 18, 2010

I’m still in my same area. If you look up the Seattle 1st ward boundaries I cover Queen Anne and downtown all the way to the bottom of the boundaries. Elder Bunton is my new companion. He is from North Carolina. This is his third transfer. Were starting to tear it up. Were going through all the less actives in our area and seeing who even still lives there. We have between 300 and 400 hundred names. We go when we don’t have an appointment and need to fill time. We’ve found that about half of them have moved already.
We went tracting Saturday and ran into one of the less actives who we hadn’t gotten to yet. She invited us in. She grew up in the church but fell away after high school. She married a Catholic but hasn’t gone to his church either. They’ve talked about going back to church but she can’t imagine not going to our church. Pretty much a solid candidate for reactivation and a baptism.
We also contacted a potential investigator the first day of transfers. She is best friends with a less active who is her next door neighbor. He involved him in the lesson to see where he was at. He still knows the church is true he just forgot that he does. Were working on that one as well.
We got a call about a week and a half ago from one of our bishopric member's brother. He has a girlfriend that lives in downtown and wants to learn about the gospel. Issued the Bunton/Merrell Restoration-on date combo and she is now on date to be baptized February 6th.
We also issued that combo to another lady. She had been on date before but fell off because she broke the Law of Chastity. Anyways her only hang up is She takes in homeless people and helps them get back on their feet. But that is ironing itself out pretty nicely so we will hopefully have 2 baptisms this transfer. Our goal is 3 but we don’t know where the other one will come from yet. Trust in God and all that other good stuff. He always hooks us up.

I like hearing about stuff from home so keep it coming.

The mission is sweet. I’m not homesick at all so if anyone asks you can tell them that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week # 5 - Queen Anne

My new years eve was way lame. We cleaned our apartment. You’d be impressed. It only took about 45 minutes. We tried to go tracking in the southernmost part of our area because our Ward Mission Leader told us that a former missionary had a new investigator every time he went down there. We went on an adventure and it turns out that there is nowhere for anyone to live down there. Either we were in the wrong place or that missionary was full of crap. We went tracking somewhere else to try to find some people and we found a few hung-over/drunk people. After about 15 minutes we realized that we weren’t supposed to track at all on new years day.
We found a former investigator yesterday. His name is Robert. He is homeless. He moved up here from California to find a job and hasn’t since he’s been here. He was hanging around another investigator in the same situation but after the other guy moved for a job we lost contact with him. We’ve spent a lot of time this transfer trying to find him.
There is also a recent convert who I should tell you about. His name is John. He lives on an old minesweeper ship. The boat used to be a crack boat so he got it for 5 grand. He spent pretty much the rest of the money he saved fixing it up and getting rid of the hypodermic needles. Anyways what he does is take homeless people in and helps them get back on their feet. Were trying to set something up with Robert and John so we can teach Robert easier. They’d get along great.