to go - crazy! Tuesday we had a good day. We decided to bike and in return
we did a lot of finding. We visited one of our ministering families and talked
to them for a while. It went really well. Then that night we went and visited
another ministering family who lives about 30 minutes away with a member.
It was a busy good day.
Wednesday we had interviews with President Hansen. He sat me down and
the first thing he said was "the next time we do this you will be headed home."
That was kind of a scary thought. After our interviews I instructed our district
meeting. We discussed how to become preach my gospel missionary. It went
really well. President Hansen actually stayed and participated in our meeting.
That was a little intimidating but he said I did great job. After the meeting we
began exchanges with the Mountain View Elders. I served with Elder Jackson
here in Batesville. He is from Arizona and we got along great and we were able
to teach a few lessons together.
Thursday we did service for Habitat for Humanity which is always fun. We have
established a good relationship with the people who work in the store. After our
service we drove up to Melbourne which is about 45 minutes away to exchange
back. The rest of that day Elder Asay and I drove around the outskirts of our area
contacting less active members. It was really fun to be out in the countryside and
drive down dirt roads in our little car. We drove around for about three hours. We
returned just in time for basketball night. We found an awesome family last week
and invited them to come play basketball and they came! Hopefully we can start
teaching them soon because they are basically a Mormon family already. They
are seriously one of the nicest families I’ve met on my mission.
Friday we had our usual weekly planning and spent the rest of the day contacting
people. Saturday we served at the Methodist breakfast again and then returned
home to continue our studies. That afternoon we went to lunch with Brother Trayler.
He is probably my favorite old man ever - I could talk to him forever. He has done
just about everything you can think of. He has really taught me a few things about
life. He really enjoys coming out and visiting people with us. He took us to a nice
Italian restaurant and bought us each a 14 ounce steak. It was delicious!
Sunday was a wonderful fast and testimony meeting. I think every member got
up and bore their testimony. Then Elder Asay and I taught priesthood and lead
a discussion on missionary work. After church we went to Cave City for dinner
with the sisters and had an awesome family home evening with the family there.
We are teaching the father of a family who is not a member. Our hope and prayer
is that he will become a member soon.
As I look back on the last 2 years of my mission my 3 favorite things about
being a Spanish missionary in the South are:
1. Learning about all the different cultures here -
2. Eating all the different amazing food -
3. Learning that God loves all of his children equally.
It is amazing to be able to have a conversation in an entirely different language
and understand that the meaning is the same. I have really come to love all of
the people I have met and served here in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. I
have been truly touched by their willingness to follow Jesus Christ. I feel that I
have served two different missions since I have served in both Spanish and in
English areas - the contrast is crazy. The South is definitely a unique place and
I have been forever blessed to serve there people here. I will really miss it a lot.
Thank you for everything. Have a great week.
Love Elder Merrill
While out finding one day we went to check this address
and instead of finding people we found this empty lot - lol
Elder Merrill and Elder Asay
Enjoy this little video -
Thought you would like seeing what Arkansas looks like.
Fun with the Wahlquist Family making homemade tortillas!
Elder Merrill and Elder Asay suited up for the job
Look at Elder Merrill go!
A hot buttered tortilla you rolled yourself....nothing better!
We loved having Elder Merrill and his new companion Elder Asay
in our home. I made them work for their supper again! We had
chicken tacos, but I made them roll the flour tortillas themselves.
Any reason to get the Elders in an apron, right? LOL!
They got pretty good towards the end and took the recipe for tortilla
dough home with them. My great granny Maria Nina Perea Valdez would
be proud. She housed missionaries for 15 years in an apartment on her property.
She took the lessons and joined the church as well. But she feed them and taught
them all how to cook for themselves before they left her. Tortillas and beans
all day long! Many of them even brought their wives back to have her teach
them how to cook "real" Mexican. Carrying on the tradition generations later!
-Sister Michelle Wahlquist