Monday, November 28, 2016

A New House & Superman Spirit

Hey guys! This week has been great!  Thanksgiving was so
awesome.  The members fed us breakfast, lunch, and dinner
and I'm pretty sure I gained 10 pounds.  And the best
part of the day was that my team won the turkey bowl!!!

We spent some of the weekend cleaning a house that all the
Jonesboro Elders are moving into tomorrow.  There will be
5 of us living there - our trio and the English companionship. 
It's going to be like an awesome mini district everyday!  

1403 Golf Course Road
Jonesboro, AR  72404

My new companion, Elder Anaya, is awesome.  Elder Sweeten
and I get along great with him.  He is from Los Angeles, CA. 
We accidently locked ourselves out of our apartment this past
week and he saved the day by picking the lock with bobby pins! 

We attended the baptism of an amazing guy this past week the
English Elders in Jonesboro have been working with.  It was
very spiritual.  The convert told us that he felt like receiving
the Holy Ghost was like getting a Superman cape so Elder
Donahoo got him one.  It was so awesome!  We also had a cool
background for photos because the Young Women left up their
colorful backdrop from the YW in Excellence program.  We have
set another baptismal date for someone we've been working with
so I'm excited for that! 

I love serving in Jonesboro.  The members here are so supportive
and kind.  They recently had a fast for missionary opportunities. 
How awesome is that!  Thanks again for all of the support!  I'm
so thankful for my mission and the chance I get to serve.  I know
that we can all Light the World with service this Christmas season!
Check out

Elder Merrill

Good times cleaning the new house

Elder Sweeten, Elder Donahoo,
new awesome convert,
Elder Elliot & Elder Merrill

That Amazing Superman Spirit! 

Lots of Jonesboro support by the colorful background

Elder Merrill & Elder Anaya hanging
out at a member's home on P-day. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Transfers and Thanksgiving!

Hey guys!  This week has been so good.  We found out about
transfers on Saturday and Elder Sweeten and I are staying in
Jonesboro!  We are also getting another companion so we will
be in a trio again.  His name is Elder Anaya.  He is from California
and has been out longer than me but shorter than Elder Sweeten.
He knows more Spanish than both of us so he can help us learn
even more.  Now I won't have to translate in sacrament meeting
every week! 

Today we are going to a members house to make rings out of
quarters so that should be way cool.  I am super excited for
Thanksgiving this week!  We have people signed up to feed us
breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  I might gain ten pounds, but it is
going to be super awesome! 

The weather is cooling down here now so I am definitely glad I
have the sweaters.  Gearing up for the winter here.  I have really
enjoyed being in Arkansas.  A lot of people here don't have any
teeth!  It is crazy how many people don't have a single tooth in
their mouth.  A lot of people smoke so it makes their teeth fall
out.  Also everybody out here says y'all and a lot of people have
funny accents. The craziest person we have met so far was this
little old lady.  We knocked on her door one day. She answered
and we started talking with her.  She lives alone with her 20 cats
and 4 dogs!  She was a real life crazy cat lady!  She told us that
her animals her only friends which was sad.  We shared a message
with her.  She said she liked it but didn't ever want to talk to us again.
But that's ok because no matter what the church will always be true! 

This week I would have to say my spiritual highlight was going
on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  We went down to Little
Rock for a couple pf days. While there we spoke nothing but
Spanish so that was awesome!  We were teaching a lesson and
something amazing happened!  I understood every single word
that was said and I taught and bore testimony without having to
think twice about what I was going to say.  The gift of tongues
is real!  I know if we are living worthily enough to have the Holy
Ghost with us all the time Heavenly Father will bless us in whatever
way will work best to overcome our trials.  Another thing I have
learned out here so far is that when we put the Lord first and are
obedient, everything can just fall into place. It really is amazing how
much the Lord is in our lives.  All we have to do to acknowledge Him
and open up our hearts to Him and He will bless our life! 

I hope you have a good week and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Elder Merrill

Someone who leaves their family for a short time
so that others may be with their families for eternity.

Elder Merrill's address:
3700 South Caraway Apt. B-12
Jonesboro, AR 72404


Monday, November 14, 2016

Primary Program Participants

It has been another great week!  We found a family of three that we
set baptismal dates with so that was way cool!  The work is going
great and I really love it out here.  I really love being a missionary!

Yesterday was the primary program in our ward.  It was sweet.  We
just randomly walked up in the middle of the song "Called to Serve"
when the kids were singing and we started singing with them.  It
was pretty awesome.  We talked to Heather's friend Wendy.  She
was awesome to talk to and she took our picture.  My Spanish is
coming along great and I am definitely getting better.  Translating
for sacrament meeting has definitely helped my language skills. 
I really enjoy the Jonesboro ward. 

Next week we have decided to try and email first thing.  Hopefully
we will have more time.  Thanks for everything.  I hope that you
all have an awesome week! 

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Sweeten & Elder Merrill smiling after singing
"Called to Serve" with the Jonesboro Ward primary children. 

Donuts at District Meeting. 
One of their investigators manages a Krispy Kreme store. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Southern Food and Blessings

Hey everyone!  This week has been pretty awesome!  I have been
enjoying the southern food experience.  It started off with an authentic
southern barbecue place which was amazing and very fattening.  Then
next on the list was catfish.  We went out with some members and got
some fried catfish, which was probably even more fattening but even
more delicious.  Along with that I tried fried okra which was pretty good. 
Every vegetable here is either fried or covered in butter -- it's awesome! 
We also went to Zaxbys which is a Southern food chain.  And to top it
all off, we went and got chicken and waffles. I know it sounds weird,
but it was dang good.  It is simply that, four chicken strips on a waffle
and covered in syrup - you just eat it all together and it is soooo good. 
So the food this week has been amazing and I might have gained nine
pounds but hey, life is great!

On the more spiritual side of things we met a girl named Annie.  She came
up to us and asked if we were Mormon and we said yes.  She told us that her
best friend growing up was Mormon.  We were like - that's awesome!  Then
she said, "well aren't your gonna teach me something?"  So we jumped into
teaching her about the restoration.  We got to the first vision and the spirit hit
us all pretty dang hard. She read the first vision and by the end of it she was in
tears.  She looked and us and all she could say was thank you.  We invited her
to be baptized and she said yes!  It was so amazing to see the spirit hit someone
that hard.  Hopefully she continues to feel the spirit and get baptized on the 26th. 

This week we also have had the awesome opportunity to go and give a few
priesthood blessings.  It is so amazing to be able to give someone a blessing
who you barely even know and be able to bless them with exactly what they
need.  That lesson I talked about in my weekly letter was really amazing. To
see the spirit really come over someone is an amazing thing.  And for me to
feel that same spirit testify that what is happening is true and right is even
more amazing.  Being out here is super awesome and is definitely what I
need to be doing right now.  Out here sharing this true gospel! 
I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Love Elder Merrill. 

So grateful for members that feed the missionaries!