Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Lights Went Out

After Christmas we headed up to Rovaniemi for a Zone Conference. It was a lot of fun with all the Elders, although I slightly feel like the old dog in the group. A lot of my friends are long gone and many of the new ones I have never even seen before. The new generation is moving into the mission, and it is strange to see. In the morning we rushed off to Santa Village. The actual workshop is a little creepy but when you finally reach Santa, all uncomfortableness slips away. Well, of course not all but most. We got a picture and when we left, the Zone Leaders gave him a Book of Mormon which was a pretty great idea. Find, find, find...

This week we had district meeting. We played a sweet scripture finding game where if you got the question right you could shoot (basketball) and get extra points. It went well and was fun to see everyone trying to rain three´s in their church clothes. At one point, I missed a lay up but the main reason was that I forgot to take my suit coat off and so it was really tight and restricting. Ya... thats why.
Our car headlights went out this week. They burned out at different times so we have been told that it probably just needs a replaced bulb. Luckily for Elder Oberhansley and I, we know absolutely nothing about cars and how to fix them. I kept telling him, "Man, if my brother was here, he would know exactly what to do..." We called some other missionaries who are more man-ly than us and asked them what to do. After some laughing and a few jokes at our expense, they told us. The directions weren't the most clear so we spent the next hour and a half trying to take the WHOLE front headlight off. We managed to unscrew some screws that were unneccessary before we called again and figured out that we just needed to take off a little plastic piece. Ya, oops. We have got most of it figured out and will continue our little adventure today when we try to get the lights back in place. Keep your fingers crossed...

The investigators here in Kuopio are doing well. There are a few that are close to having a baptismal date. Many of them have a lot of potential and we are teaching a lot and things are going well in that aspect.

Thats about all I got.
Love you guys.
Vanhin Merkley

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jared's week in Brazil

( Apparently we are going to have to step it up so the Merkley's aren't the only ones posting)

 This week was awesome. After all the fun of Christmas and visiting the Americans to get super trunky we had a great week; we started with a man named Assis and he is amazing. We first talked to him when he was drunk and super depressed outside the bar. We felt like we should actually visit him ( usually we don't talk that much with drunks and all that because there are tons and they don't remember anything afterwards) he was still having a hard time but super happy to see us. We talked and marked to come by the next day and talk some more. When we came the next day he had shaved and looked way better. He was happy and excited. We talked and marked for him to go with us the next day to church and when we went to pick him up he was out side waiting. It's so special to see the change in his life. we are also helping to commit a family and it's going very well. Our biggest focus is finding new people still but it's going well. We also have a man named Rafiel and he is awesome. He moved into the Patriarch house and was interested in some of the book that were left. He climbs and bikes and does almost everything I like to do. He really wants to find the true church but is having a really hard time finding an answer.
     Anyways, I'm loving my time in the field and missing all y'all but keep it real and I'll be back in no time.
 rock on--- Elder Schmidt

(It took forever for us to receive Jared's memory card so this photo is his past area but it still made his mother happy)