Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Today has been super busy and I don't have too
much time to email...but this past week was awesome! 
The highlights:
Yesterday we were out walking by the trailers and this lady came up
to us and asked us to bless her house.  She had been seeing things and
she really wanted them to go away.  So we went into her house and
we blessed it.  It was one of the coolest experiences.  When we went
into her house it just kinda felt weird and lonely.  But as soon as we
closed the prayer the spirit came flooding into her house.  It was amazing
to have that opportunity to use the priesthood and feel the Lord work
through us.  The second experience was that a member asked us to go
to the hospital and give some blessings.  It was really cool to be able to
feel like I knew those people without ever meeting them. 

This evening we are going to a members home and carving pumpkins
with them.  Then we are going to hand out pass-along cards with candy.
It's going to be super fun!  I caught a little stomach bug this past week
and I was kinda moving slow the next couple days but I am all better
now.  It definitely showed me that when you can't get out and work hard
all day that the days are super long and boring.  So I'm happy to be feeling
better and back to working hard and serving the Lord!  I promise to write a
super long email next week!  Have an awesome Halloween!

Love Elder Merrill

Happy Halloween from Elder Merrill

Monday, October 24, 2016

Aggie Elders at Arkansas State

Things are going great here in Jonesboro!  It is super awesome to have
a companion from Cache Valley and to be teaching him Spanish.  Having
to teach him the Spanish language has really helped me learn even more. 
The work here is going great!  We set a baptismal date with a lady this
past week so that was super awesome!  She was a bible referral who
invited us back. We taught her about the restoration and she told us that
it all made sense. We then invited her to be baptized and she accepted! 
Hopefully she stays committed and continues to progress.

I love being a missionary.  Our day to day schedule is pretty much this:
8:00 -1:00 we have our studies and a lunch hour.  1:00 - 6:00 or 7:00 we
proselyte and go to our appointments.  Then we usually have dinner in a
members home.  After dinner we usually go and visit less active members
in the ward and share gospel messages with them. 

This morning was pretty sweet.  We went to the Arkansas State Bookstore
because it is owned by a member of the bishopric.  He was actually in his
office today and he hooked us up with some free Red Wolf stuff.  I got a hat
and a sweatshirt.  He is a really cool guy and we talked to him for like an
hour.  We discussed how to make money after our missions.

Your testimony definitely gets tested out here with of all the different religions. 
I get told I'm going to hell a couple times a week.  But I can promise you this -
This gospel is true!!!  It is the only gospel with absolutely all of the truth.  I am
so thankful for the strength we can obtain through the atonement of our Savior
Jesus Christ.  Even though it gets tough out here sometimes I definitely love it. 
And because I have been tested so much my testimony has grown like crazy.

We are going over to a members tonight for dinner and family home evening.
Then we are gonna go visit a less active family.  Thank you to everyone who
sends me emails (  I absolutely love reading
them and I promise I will do my best to respond to them.  I love you all so much
and hope you have a wonderful week.

Love Elder Merrill

- Elder Merrill and Elder Sweeten -
2 Elders from Cache Valley in their new
Aggie Game Day Shirts!

Monday, October 17, 2016

President Wakolo visits Jonesboro

Hey guys!  My new companion Elder Sweeten is awesome!  It has been 
super awesome to find out all of the ties we have in Cache Valley.  
Remember the guy we met in the Kater Shop who was going to the 
Bentonville Arkansas mission?  His name is Elder Pugmire and he is one 
of Elder Sweeten's best friends!  I saw him in the Mexico MTC the last week 
I was there.  Crazy small world right?!  This week was another good one. 
Elder Sweeten is a really hard worker so we are doing something all day long 
so that has helped a lot.  We have picked up a couple Spanish investigators so that's 
good.  It has definitely been an adventure teaching Elder Sweeten Spanish.  
President Wakolo came to Jonesboro this weekend.  He gave us some 
great advice for this next transfer.  We also had studies with him this morning 
and that was super awesome!  He is an amazing man.  I can't believe that I 
have already been out for 3 months!  It honestly feels like it has been 3 or 4 weeks!
Thanks for all that you guys do for me! 

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill and the missionaries of Jonesboro were blessed to spend the weekend 
with President Wakolo.  President Wakolo texted us this picture last night and said this:
"Sister Wakolo and I had the privilege of worshiping with these great missionaries 
in Jonesboro.  Thank you for them.  They are on fire!  Best wishes!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Transfers and becoming a Spanish teacher

Things are going pretty good here.  This next transfer is going to be a lot
different than this last one.  Both of my trainers are leaving.  Elder
Moore is going to Batesville and Elder Santiago is going to Danville.
Also every other Elder's trainer is leaving as well. The only missionaries
that are staying here in Jonesboro are the three greenies that got here this
last transfer.  And to make things even crazier my new companion is an
English Elder which means while he finishes up my training, I am going
to have to teach him Spanish!  His name is Elder Sweeten and he is
from Nibley Utah!  So that's cool!  This is going to be interesting!

Everything else is really going great. We are teaching a lot of people and
still getting a lot of doors slammed in our faces. The joke here is that
whenever a door is slammed in your face here someone is baptized in
Mexico haha. :)  I am super happy I am staying here because Jonesboro
is awesome!  The members here are great as well.  The Boudrero's are
amazing and it is so fun to go and see them and talk about home - Logan. 

Something I have noticed this last week is how much your testimony gets
tested out here in the mission field.  The other day we had a discussion with
a man who really likes everything about "Mormonism."  He likes reading the
Book of Mormon and loves how the church is organized but his interest is
purely intellectual.  I sat there an thought about how important a testimony
is because this gospel literally makes no sense without a spiritual witness.
I know with a surety that this church is true and that the Book of Mormon
is the word of God.  It makes me sad to see families that don't have the gospel
in their life and don't want it either.  But every time I feel discouraged I just
think of everyone supporting me.  Thank you for all that you do for me. 
I wish I had more time to email but with all these exchanges happening today
we don't have a lot of time.  I love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

Monday, October 3, 2016

General Conference was so awesome!

Hello!  General Conference was so awesome!  We watched all ten
hours!  That was a first for me and I really learned a lot.  We watched
a couple sessions of conference at members houses and the rest at the
church.  It really was awesome.  Nothing too exciting happened this
week.  We picked up a new investigator.  He is a pretty cool guy.  He's
a fire fighter and seems pretty interested so hopefully things go well
with him.  We went to a Brazilian ladies house for dinner this week
and had this rice and bean stuff that was amazing.  She also served us
GuaraƱa which was pretty sweet!  I'm so happy to have my bike.  We
rode bikes on Friday all day and it was awesome.  We figured it out and
decided that we biked almost 20 miles so that was pretty sweet.  My rear
was kinda sore the next day but it was super fun.  It's crazy that this transfer
only has on week left.  I love it out here and am definitely thankful for
everyday.  This gospel is so true!  I hope that you guys have an awesome week! 
I love you!
Love Elder Merrill

Dinner at a members home

Mission District & Zone Leaders