Monday, September 26, 2016

The power of God is real!

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty awesome!  We did our first exchanges as a district
and I got paired up with the other greenie here.  It was good to see
that we could actually go out and do this work without the help of our
trainers.  We visited a couple of our investigators and found a couple new
ones as well.  We had an awesome experience in finding people.  We said a
specific prayer that we would find at least one person to teach and set a
return appointment.  It was so amazing to see our prayer answered after
about an hour and a half.  We were headed back to the car and decided to
knock on one more door and we found someone!  I know that when we
humbly ask specific prayers that they will be answered! 

On Tuesday my companions and I went and knocked on the door of a trailer
and found this guy.  He is super awesome and has totally changed his life
around by going to church. We talked to him for a while and were just
getting ready to set a return appointment when -bam- he went into a seizure.
It was crazy!  He hit the ground and we didn't really know what to do.  His
daughter was there who is a nurse so she immediately started helping.  When
he stopped shaking and we kind of had him sitting up we offered to give a
blessing.  His daughter said yes.  He was still in pretty bad shape so my
companion put his hands on his head and gave him a blessing.  As
soon as he said amen and lifted his hands off, this man woke right up and
was pretty much totally normal.  It was crazy!  He looked right at me
and started talking as if nothing had happened.  It was amazing to witness
first hand that the power of God is real and that God works through us.
I know that when we call on him in faith that he will always be there. 

It has been so awesome out here and I am having a blast.  We just set two
baptismal dates this week for October 22nd so that was super awesome!  I am
definitely getting the hang of this and feel a lot more comfortable teaching.
I am really excited for General Conference.  We are going to watch a couple sessions
with members and the rest at the church.  I feel like my Spanish is coming along well
and we have started to find more Spanish speaking people so that is really cool.
I have learned out here serving that missionary work takes a lot of faith and
I have definitely felt and seen mine develop more each day.  I absolutely love my area. 
The only thing different about home from here is that there are no mountains and you
sweat no matter what when you are outside - haha.  The ward and members here are
awesome and they are so willing to help us which makes it really great.  I have been so
blessed to have already seen some pretty cool stuff happen out here and I can't wait to
see what is in store for me.  I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love Elder Merrill

IPad basketball balancing

Dinner with members 

Being a missionary is cool!

Monday, September 19, 2016

El Libro de Mormon

Things are going great here in the mission field and Jonesboro is awesome!
It has been a good week.  We have a couple people we are teaching.  One of
them is the man I committed to be baptized on October 1st.  I still can't believe I did
it in Spanish.  It was so awesome!  My companions are amazing!  Elder Moore is from
St. George and Elder Santiago is from Puerto Rico. They have helped me a ton and it is
super fun being with them.  We had our first exchanges this past week. With Spanish
we go on exchanges with Spanish Elders in other areas as well as with the English
missionaries in our area. This week I went to the Spanish area. I was sent over to
Russellville with Elder Doty and Elder Sotomarina.  It was super cool and we
spoke Spanish the entire time.  We taught a lady and I bore my testimony
about the Book of Mormon -el Libro de Mormon!  I also committed her to read
the book daily in her life.  It was cool because after I started speaking the words just
came to my mouth and I knew exactly what to say. It is amazing how much my testimony
has grown already and I can't wait to see how much it will grow over the next 2 years. 
It also amazes me how many churches and banks are here.  On every corner there is a bank or
a church, and most of the banks are owned by churches.  It is also weird being a minority
religion.  But all of this has really helped me to know how much the gospel blesses lives. 
The people who don't have the gospel in their lives just don't seem to be as happy as
the members or our investigators who are really progressing.  Sharing the gospel with
people really does bring so much joy.  I love being out here and I can't wait to see what
other adventures I will have. One thing I have come to know out here is that I definitely
can't do this alone.  I am so thankful for all the support my Heavenly Father and my Savior,
Jesus Christ give us in our lives. It is really awesome being out here and serving.  It may be
tough at times but it is definitely worth it.  It's crazy to think that this transfer is already
halfway over. Time is literally flying by.  I really love hearing from everyone.  We can check
email whenever we have wifi so feel free to send an email anytime you want.  Thank you
so much for all the support.  Love you all!

Love Elder Merrill

Spanish Book of Mormon

Kaden sent a little video this week - it was so fun to
hear his voice and see the fun him and his companions are having. 
Here are a couple screenshots from the video.  :-)

Monday, September 12, 2016

1st baptism commitment

This last week was super awesome!  I committed one of our investigators
to be baptized last Tuesday!  And it was in Spanish!  It was so amazing and
I really hope is all works out.  Wednesday was a pretty normal missionary day. 
We went and taught some lessons and had dinner at a members home.  Thursday
waspretty much the same.  Friday we went out to lunch as a district which
was really nice.  We are able to get together as a district quite a bit so it is great
to hang out with all of them.  Another thing that is happening in the near
future hopefully, is that all the elders here are going to move into a
house together.  The sisters apartment lease is almost up so they are
going to move into our apartment and we are going to move into a house. 
Today we are going to a members house to get a haircut.  They are actually
from Logan!  I will try and send a picture later while we are over there. 
We are going to do yardwork today as service.  Things have been going great
and I can't believe I have been here for two weeks now - time is flying by.
The high school here had a football game this past Saturday and that kinda made
me really miss going to football games but it is all good.  I am getting along
with my companions great so that is nice.  I love you all so much and thanks for
all the support.  I will talk to you next week.

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Moore & Elder Merrill

"My companion is the bees knees. He's a stud and we have a lot in common. He's straight out of high school in Logan, Utah and I swear he came out pre trained. His Spanish (especially for a greenie) is outstanding! And his Greenie Fire is way beyond the point of "I fear no man."  Elder Moore 
                                                           (Elder Moore writing about Kaden to President Wakolo)

District members

Elder Elliot, Elder Santiago and District leader Elder Degoyler

My bed

Our apartment

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First week in the ALRM!

Things have been going great here in Arkansas.  I have definitely learned that missionary work is not hard, it is harder.  President Wakolo is so awesome and probably one of the coolest men I have ever met.  We spent the first two days with him so that was really awesome.  This first week here has been awesome and challenging.  I will be in a trio for this first transfer. The people here are amazing and the ward members we have met are pretty great too.  We have had one meal with a member so far and it was delicious.  The English elders in our area are also in a trio so that's pretty cool.  Our first day we taught one strong investigator and a few other people.  My trainers made me knock on the very first door the very first day. Yeah-that was crazy.  Friday was about the same and we ate dinner at this awesome Mexican restaurant.  Saturday none of our appointments were home and we had dinner at a recent converts house.  Sunday was awesome and all of the missionaries shared their testimonies.  A crazy thing that happened this week was that we bible bashed with one of our investigators who had found some anti stuff on the Internet.  I was definitely pretty nervous and was freaking out a little, but my trainers handled it well and they helped me out a lot.  We have one investigator sister who is hopefully going to get baptized this Saturday so that will be so awesome.  I am enjoying Jonesboro.  It is actually a lot like Logan so that is great, minus the fact that there are no mountains.  The people here are pretty sweet and it has been awesome actually teaching real people.  We are on our bike week this week but there is a black guy in the ward named Freddy Green and he literally spends all day with us and drives us around so that is pretty nice.  I can't wait to tell you more awesome stories as soon as I get some.  I look forward to hearing from you.  I love mail!  Thanks for all of the support!

Love Elder Merrill

Apartment address
3700 South Caraway Apt. B-12
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72404

Email address

Mission Home address
905 Kierre Drive
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

Missionaries who arrived to the ALRM on August 30, 2016

New missionaries with their trainers

Elder Kaden Merrill with his trainers
Elder Moore and Elder Santiago

The ALRM Spanish Zone missionaries

Elder Moore, Elder Merrill, Elder Santiago

Letter from Elder Merrill

                                          The ALRM (Arkansas Little Rock Mission) Map