Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I made it to Arkansas!

Hey!  I made it to Arkansas!  The flight was good and I am so happy to finally be here.  We are staying in a members home tonight because we have training in the morning.  The house is literally a mansion and everyone has their own bed.  There are five of us staying here.  I will be in a trio for now and my trainers names are Elder Moore and Elder Santiago. The first area I will be serving in is called Jonesboro.  My trainers say that it is pretty heavy in Spanish so I am super excited!  We are going tracking for about 3 hours tomorrow so that will be awesome.  It will be in English so that will be a good way to start.  My P-day will be on Monday so I will email again then.  Thank you so much for everything! Much love!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Last week at the CCM

Hey everyone!

I can't believe that the time has come for me to leave the CCM.  My time here has been so awesome but I am so stoked to get out into the field.  My Spanish is a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I am so excited for all the adventures to come for me and my companions.  I could not be more grateful for this opportunity to go out and share this amazing message that is the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Arkansas.  I know that it is not going to be easy but it will be possible!  I am really hoping that I get a good trainer.  I am also super excited to meet my mission president.  I guess you will hear from me on my next p-day which I think is Monday but I am not sure.  Thanks for all the support you have given me so far. 

Love Elder Merrill

                                                                        My district

                                                       Elder Toomer and Elder Merrill

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week 5 at the CCM

Hey Everyone!

It's hard to believe that my time here at the CCM is coming to an end. Our schedule gets pretty packed so I am hoping time goes by fast this last week. It has honestly been so fun here but I am super pumped to get out into the field! I feel like my Spanish is pretty good now so I am not too nervous to go out and start speaking it.  This last week here has been pretty packed with meetings and motivational type things to get us ready for the field.  I love all of your emails and look forward to reading them every week.  I won’t have a P-day the first week in the field but I am sure I will have a lot more to tell you on my first P-day.  One crazy thing that happened this week was my companion got hit in the face with a soccer ball so we took him to the enfermeria.  They decided that he needed to go the orthodontist so they sent us outside the walls! It was so awesome considering we have only been out there twice to go the temple. It was really cool to see other parts of this massive city.  The drivers here are absolutely insane and I thought I was going to die! While my companion was having his work done I totally sat there and watched the Olympics for an hour so that was super awesome.  We also saw some missionaries serving in Mexico City so we talked to them for a little bit and practiced our Spanish.  Well that was the only exciting thing this week. We have to pack our suitcases today and weigh them so I hope I can figure out where to put everything. I look forward to writing you all when I am out in the field!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill & Elder Ellis Toomer

Our district

One more week to go at the CCM!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 4 at the CCM

Hey Everyone!

Things are going great here in the MTC but I am kind of getting antsy to get out of here.  I have had some really awesome experiences here and can't wait to see what the mission field brings. It's crazy to think that I have been out for a month already - time is flying by. Last Thursday we had this thing called TRC.  What happens is they actually bring real people from outside the walls and let us practice teaching them.  It was the coolest thing ever to actually talk with real people who don't know a lot of English instead of talking to our teachers who are our fake investigators.  We get to do it one more time before we leave and I am really looking forward to it.    We had a super awesome devotional last night from Helaman Montejo. He is a member of the area seventy here.  He talked about always doing your work and respecting and collaborating with church leaders. It thought it was some really good advice. I got an email from my mission president today so that was pretty awesome!  He outlined what my first day is going to be like so that was pretty cool to see.  We have some Latinos living in our house and it super fun to talk with them and practice Spanish with them. It honestly helps so much.  This week wasn't too exciting so hopefully I will have more exciting news next week. I love hearing from all of you and hope to continue hearing from you.

Love Elder Merrill

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 3 at the CCM

Hey Everyone!

Everything is going awesome here and I am having so much fun.  I love reading all of your emails so please keep sending them!  I am really enjoying it out here and can't wait to get into the field. I heard some rumors that the website I gave you for letters costs money but I found a new one.  The address is   I am thankful for all the love and support you are giving me.  My Spanish is coming along really good and the days just keep getting better and better.  Our last temple trip was awesome and I took some pictures of the city.  We had a devotional last night broadcast from the Provo MTC and Neil L. Anderson spoke.  He told us that being a missionary is not complex, but it is not easy.  I know that things will be tough but I know I can do hard things.  As we teach, I am more and more grateful for Spanish because it forces me to keep the message as simple as possible and that is how the gospel should be.  We have found that our teacher in the morning, Hermano Martinez, is probably like the coolest guy ever.  He is on a Tae Kwon Do team and has taken nationals a couple times.  He has one of the best testimonies I have ever heard, and he is way awesome at soccer.  He helps us a lot and is super fun to be around.  I have really gotten into soccer and almost every morning our whole district goes and plays cage soccer.  We are getting pretty good.  I look forward to reading more letters next week!  I am super thankful for all of the love and support. 

Love, Elder Merrill

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week 2 at the CCM

Hey Everyone!

Things are going great here at the CCM and I could not be more excited to serve the Lord these next two years!  We had a couple awesome things happen this week.  One of them being that we got to listen to a talk given by Richard G. Scott to the missionaries in the Provo MTC a couple months ago.  He really talked about the importance of personal prayer and the importance of it in our daily lives.  It was really amazing.  One other thing that happened was our temple trip last P-Day.  We listened to the session in Spanish and it just taught me that no matter what the language, the spirit still communicates the same.  The temple here is the 3rd biggest in the world and it is massive and amazing!  It even has escalators in it.  It is modeled after an Aztec design so it looks pretty awesome.  We are going to the temple again this P-Day and I am super pumped!  I have found that if I just lose myself in the work that the time literally flies by.  I would not want to be anywhere else right now.  We have fallen into a routine here and it's pretty busy.  I think we have 15 or 16 hour days every day.  It definitely makes the time fly by. The days have definitely gotten a lot better.  We have more personal study hours to kind of just relax and study what we feel like we need to study.  My Spanish is coming along great and I can almost find a way to say anything that I want.  We had some Latinos move into the house we are staying in.  We went and talked to them and had an awesome conversation in Spanish.  I definitely know now the gift of tongues is a real thing and that the Lord is starting to bless me with it.  As I look back, it is hard to believe that I have already been here for 2 weeks.  I know that time will only start to go by faster. I love all of the emails everyone has sent to me and I love hearing about what is happening back at home.  I will try to keep you updated on what happening here and will write again next week.

Love Elder Merrill

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