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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Klagenfurt: January 13, 2014

Dearest Fam-bam,

Ok, so I procrastinated writing this email a little bit, so I have less time than I normally do for writing it, so apologies in advance. This week has been a lot of fun, though. I think a big factor of that was the weather. It has been pretty mild this week, with temperatures never getting below freezing, which has really been great. I love that we are in the middle of January, and the temperatures are still a little above freezing. All the natives are saying that it is very unusual but I am really enjoying it.

In addition to that, this week was awesome because we were able to get a lot of teaching in. We taught a ton of lessons this week, and we found a good amount of people as we were on the ways to these appointments and what not. We also had a ton of contact with the ward, because we had members at every lesson we taught this week. They are being very supportive, and yeah, life is good.

So, the only thing that kind of stinks is that both Elizabeth and Francesco didn't come to church yesterday. They both called before and let us know what was up, but it was still kind of lame. Dominic did come though, which was great. The whole family came, even the dad, who is not a member. That was a bit of surprise, but it was really encouraging. 

Our appointments with Francesco are still going alright, but I just feel like we are not really helping him right now. He thinks too deep and philisophically about everything and it is hard to make progress, because when you ask a question, he always talks about there not being any blacks and whites, in terms of right and wrong, and the agnostic view points just kind of slip out. I don't know, we're doing our best, and I hope that we will be able to make some progress soon, but we'll see.  We're still getting members to come to his appointments, and we actually did something a little unconventional this week, we had a female member meet us at his house, and then she was our joint teach for the lesson. She was really surprised and actually didn't even think that was allowed at first. I was glad that we could use her, because I don't think the women in this ward get very many oppurtunities to be able to go as joint teaches, not as many as they would want at least.

With Elizabeth things are going a lot better. She is drinking up everything we are teaching. I don't think we have taught a principle yet that she hasn't agreed with, and she really like the Book of Mormon, and always tells us how much she likes it. I was really disappointed that she didn't come to church though, she called and said that she didn't have the energy to come. Satan working? You better believe it. We're going to just try our best to be really loving and supportive, and I think she will come again next week. I still don't know if she will actually be baptized on the second. The only problem is that she doesn't want to be baptized in the faunt, but a member found some warm stream that is running right now, and we may show her that and see if she wants to be baptized there. I don't know if it will work though, because it will only run for a couple more weeks, and I don't know if we want to rush her baptism at all. We want to make sure that she is really solid before she is baptized, but waiting to May or so is also a really long time.

We are actually hoping to get another seven joint teaches this week, which is still kind of insane, when I really think about it. I never got that many joint teaches the entire time I was in Passau, and I am able to get that pretty easily in a week here. I just love how when I put in the work, I can see the results. I remember always reading these quotes in Preach my Gospel about working hard, and about how that brings success, and kind of laughing under my breath, because I was typically in a situation where I felt like I was doing all that I could, and nothing was happening. Here I would be able to support that, because I do all that I can, and things seem to fall into place pretty nicely. It just takes work, and a ton of planning and phone calls.

Anyway, your ward conference thing sounds legit, Mom. I really enjoyed reading that letter thing you made. You are definitely magnifying your calling! I think you are doing a great job motivating the youth, let me know how the other ones go, ok? 

Sorry for this disjointed email, but I am too lazy to try to make it flow better. One more random thought: Scotty sounds like he is growing a ton on his mission. I am really enjoying reading his emails. You can see his personalitly in them, and I love the clever things he says, although sometimes I am confused because I don't always know the context as well as his family does. He's great.

I love you guys so much! Thanks for always writing me emails (and maybe letters will start again at some point...?), I love reading them!

Love,
Elder Merkley

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