Saturday, October 29, 2016

Week 55 August 22, 2016 - Happy Birthday!

From: Jordan Mark Merrill <>
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2016 12:43 AM
To: Lauri Merrill

Hey hey :) So I’d say this has been one of the busiest weeks in my mission so far, aside from the missionary work of course. So my current comp is going home in 3 days.  Let me tell ya, his example to still have the urgency to work as much as he can, is a big deal when you’re that close to going home. But then again I say we were busy cause we both heard some news we weren’t really expecting but I’ll get to that later:) But this week has been a blast. It was my birthday if any of you forgot...;) Here in Tula Tula they don’t take things like that lightly. If any type of ordeal like that comes upon a missionary, they make sure the missionary feels loved:) So my b-day was a Thursday and around 4 in the morning our power went out and that means our electric fans don’t work.  So basically the electric fan blowing on us while were sleeping is like life support to a human. When that life support/fan goes out, you die... or wake up... not as bad I guess. So I woke up and couldn’t sleep. The brown out lasted until about 9, I think? Ya hot hot! But it’s all good. I opened my b-day present my mommy sent me (shout out to my fav mom) and ya, I’m basically the most spoiled missionary in the world to have a mom like mine. I’m pretty sure there will never be such thing as an equal replacement for her. Love ya mom:)  So my b-day was on a Thursday which is district meeting and we were able to combine with my old district in their chapel. Elder Witehira gave me the honor of giving his last workshop to us all and he did great. Then Elder Baker (shout to Elder Baker) bought me a big ol chocolate cake:) We had no forks or plates so after we went to Jollibee and ate there. Luckily enough the overflow room where they have b-day parties was open to the public and I’d say it wasn’t too full but as we were all eating everyone else but us missionaries left so we had the b-day room for ourselves and surprise to me, they left the b-day decorations up! No, it wasn’t for me… But they were still up and it just happened to be my b-day:) They sang and we had a good time but then the time came where we needed to get back to our areas. So we went back to Tulax2 and Elder Witehira (shout out to him:)) Bought my favorite salad and made it for me. At the same time our BML has the same b-day as me so we went to his house and they cooked and my comp cooked and they bought a big chocolate cake:) Buuut, brown out, darn... again. It started right as we started then lasted until about half way before we ended. Its funny cause the power goes out and everyone’s like "ohhhhhhh..." But when it comes on again everyone’s like "Yaaaaay!" So we had a good time there and a lot of my good friends came:) Then it was time to go home. And so far from what I’ve seen here is the tradition for b-days is that person gets totally ambushed and destroyed with flour/food coloring/water/confetti, all goodies like that so when we got to the apartment I was like "alright I’m ready:)..." Nothing. I walk inside, nothing. Darn. I guess they don’t love me:( So the next day was just normal. We worked, said goodbye for EW to some members and investigators and started home. When I walked through the gate EW handed me the keys (which he never does) and said he needs to pee (not in his normal peeing spot) so I don’t think much of it then I get to the door and see it cracked and I’m like crap that cat got in again! Right as I open it flour falls on my hand so I’m like "😏 ohhhhhhhhhhhh.... there it is". But they missed so I yell out I’m coming in! When I go in the light turn on and surprise!!!!!! Our whole apartment is decorated and they hand me a cake with a "20" happy birthday candles. Then they start singing and say in America it is the 18th so technically it’s still your birthday! I’m like whatever:) So they take me outside and set me up to take a picture mysteriously with my back facing the darkest most open spot in our yard. I’m like screw it, whatever they got planned now let it happen ha. So cheese, BAM! food colored water to the back, BAM colored water to the front, BAM colored water to the face, BAM flour in the eyes. Endless waves of I don’t even know what. It just kept coming so I just embraced it and took it like a champ. But like any celebration here, not only one person gets it, it eventually gets carried away where everyone gets a little piece of the joke. EW got wasted, Garcia family wasted, everyone! YAY! They still love me :) :D they told me the reason they got me that night was because the night before was too hard to work around my schedule. Ha-ha I’m chill with 2 b-days:) But it really was like the best ever, I love this branch so dang much. They even cooked and cleaned our apartment:) Sooooo that’s one part of why we were so busy. The next, is that one of the nights I was sending out texts or reminders and I got a text from the ZLs unexpectedly, so I read it like nothing: These are the transferred elders... Merrill, blah blah blah. Freak! Me really? But my comp is going home so if I leave there will be 2 new ones here. Kind of like how I started here. Hard as crap!!! HA. But yup that’s it for ya. I’m being transferred to one of the 4 islands in our mission, Masbate. The good thing, it was one of EW last areas and he said its great there and I don’t need to worry, so I’m not worried but I’m basically saying goodbye to my second home. My second family, all my good friends. But that’s the life as a missionary right? Grow to love your area then you need to leave it. So we have both been packing, cleaning, writing, stuff like that and ya it’s been busy. So tomorrow morning I will travel to Daraga with Elder Witehira and from there I’ll say goodbye and take a boat to my next area. From what I’ve heard, my next comp isn’t Filipino or American and I have another set of elders I’ll be staying with. EW said there’s like no bad parts to where I’m going except the tricys suck, but that’s fine with me. It’s a really weird feeling to see your comps plane ticket show up and then have say goodbye again to everyone you love. But you gotta do what ya gotta do right? Oh and to add, I’m going to be the district leader of the district with Elder Caranzo and his son:) Sorry my email this week is less on the spiritual side and more on the me me me side but I just feel like I need to say it:) Next time I email; I’ll be in a whole new mission experience. I love you all and I thank you all for the birthday wishes:) Mahal ko kayo lahat! And pakiremeber, Magsisi kayo!
**Elder Merrill**

just don't ask or worry...;)
Yes American style...:)
"Jesus" sandals are in the Hallmark box, per his request of one of each color.

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