Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I really don't have anything to write today
since we talked about everything yesterday.  It was so great to talk to you
and see everyone!  After we talked we went over to the Boudrero's.  We
had dinner and played games with their family.  They are so cool. 
As promised here are some pictures!  Love you all!

Love Elder Merrill

We loved Face Time with Elder Merrill on Christmas Day!
Best Gift Ever!!!

Merry Christmas from the Jonesboro District Missionaries!

Elder Sweeten, Elder Merrill, Sister Missionaries, Elder Anaya, Elder Donahoo

The Church is TRUE!

Christmas Dinner at the Boudero's home

I received a text from a Sister Green the other day. 
She sent this picture and said,
"Enjoy this picture of your wonderful son with my
children and Freddie.  He is doing great and is such a joy!" 

Road Kill Opossum

Monday, December 19, 2016

The most important work in the world

Hey guys!  Things are still going awesome here. This week
was a good one.  The Christmas Zone Meeting in Little Rock
was so awesome.  The ALRM (Arkansas Little Rock Mission)
is where I am supposed to be! 

We are teaching a lady named Jana right now and things are
really looking pretty good. We have set a baptismal date for
New Years Day and it looks like it is going to happen!  We
found her through her husband.  The family had just recently
moved here and we received a referral for the husband who
was baptized about 10 years ago.  We made contact and went
to their home.  We started reading the Book of Mormon with
him because he wasn't able to come to church because of his
job.  One night his wife, Jana, decided to join the conversation
because we were talking about family history.  She agreed to let
us come back and teach her the restoration.  We went back and it
went great.  We invited her to be baptized and she accepted.  The
last two weeks her whole family has been coming to church and it
has been awesome!  And they love it!  It makes me so happy to
see the gospel changing someone's life in so many ways.

Another fun thing that happened this week was that we had a crazy
thunderstorm.  We had a tornado warning on Saturday and things
got crazy.  The tornado ended up going somewhere else but a really
big thunderstorm came instead.  With the storm came a flash flood
warning and that totally happened.  We were driving to go visit a
less active family in the middle of this storm and when we got to the
end of our street it was completely submerged in water.  We decided
to go back to the house and wait for it to pass.  Luckily it calmed down
before our dinner appointment so we were able to make it to that.

The weather is getting colder here.  The cold hurts more here because
the humidity makes it go all the way through your clothes.  And there
is literally no snow at all so everything is just brown. 
It's kind of depressing. 

Christmas is also super weird here.  I definitely miss participating in
our Christmas traditions back home but it gives me comfort knowing
that I am out here doing the most important work in the world.
For Christmas we are going to a members home right after church so
I can Skype any time.  I will have the members text you - it will be a
lot easier to set it up that way.  They are pretty cool.  The dad is from
Brazil so that's awesome!  I am super excited to talk with you guys on
Christmas!  It is going to be amazing!  I love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill & Elder Sweeten eating quail

Elders Merrill, Donahoo, Sweeten & Anaya

A member texted us this picture and said this, "I had the blessing
of having your son over to my house for dinner tonight.  He is a
blessing and a wonderful missionary.  He is doing well!"

Can you find Elder Merrill?

Christmas Zone Conference in Little Rock

Zone Conference Christmas Tree
trimmed with missionary ornaments! 

The mission asked us to send a couple pictures of our missionary when
they were elementary school aged for a Christmas surprise.  They put
together a fun slideshow to show at the Christmas Zone Conference. 

These are the 2 pictures that we sent. 

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for sharing your child’s early life photos with us.  The missionaries loved looking at each one and trying to guess which missionary it was.  We had such a good time and felt such a good spirit!!!

We hope you will all have the merriest of Christmases knowing that your son is doing a great work for the Lord and for all those they bring to a knowledge of the truth.

We love and appreciate your support!!  Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Service

Hey guys!

Another great week has gone by.  We did a lot of service this
past week and I really loved it.  Also I can't believe Christmas
is almost here!  Make sure everyone knows my new address
to send me cards and gifts! (hint hint)

1403 Golf Course Drive
Jonesboro, AR  72404

The ward here is having their Christmas breakfast on Saturday
so that should be pretty fun.  We have just started teaching this
awesome lady.  Her husband was baptized about 10 years ago
in Oklahoma.  He hasn't been able to come to church since they
moved here because he works every Sunday.  But they came
yesterday and it was awesome!  We went to their house last
night and taught an awesome plan of salvation lesson.  I really
hope that she gets baptized. 

We had an Elder in our district go home this week for medical
reasons.  It was kinda hard to see him go because he came out
with me.  We have been serving in the same district since we
got to Arkansas.  I know it was for the best and we are all praying
really hard for him. 

We are going down to Little Rock tomorrow night for the Christmas
Zone meeting which should be pretty awesome.  We have so many
members that want us over for Christmas!  We will have to work
out some things about how we can Skype on Christmas Day! 

Tell everyone I say hello and I love you guys!
Thank you for everything!

Love Elder Merrill

Missionary service - so many leaves!
Elders Merrill, Anaya, Donahoo, and Sweeten

Elder Donahoo taking a selfie.   
Elders Merrill, Anaya and Sweeten photobombing.

Jonesboro Missionaries helping out with Super Saturday dance decorations. 
Super Saturday is held once a month, usually for youth 14+ for the Searcy Stake. 
There are 11 units in the stake.  Some units drive 2-3 hours to participate in activities. 

Elder Merrill talking to Freddy Green. 
Freddy loves to hang out and help the missionaries. 

Elder Merrill misses his sister Sydnee!
(notice the license plate)

Monday, December 5, 2016

When you put the Lord first everything falls into place

Hey ya'll! 

This week was crazy - but it definitely taught me one thing: 

When you put the Lord first everything falls into place. 

We moved from our apartment on Tuesday into a members
old home with the English Elders.  It's been great!  It is super
nice living in a house.  And on top off the move we also did
10 hours of service. We literally felt like we had no time to
proselyte with everything else going on. But looking back at
the numbers for this week you would think we had a normal
average week!  It was amazing! 

Today for lunch we cooked up some deer a member gave us. 
Apparently you can shoot like 6 deer here in Arkansas so he
had a ton of Whitetail.  It tasted a little different than what I
have eatenbefore, but it was pretty dang good. We breaded it
and fried it up.  Yum!

Our big focus right now is the church Christmas video and
activities on  It is really awesome and all of
you should go check it out if you haven't had the chance to
yet.  We went to the church and watched the First Presidency
Christmas Devotional last night.  It was so awesome!  I love
this time of year and the opportunity it gives us to think more
about our Savior Jesus Christ.  He loves each of us!

Things are still going great here in Jonesboro Arkansas!
Time is flying by and I am enjoying each and every day. 
I wish you all the best!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill - the red-nosed Missionary!

Crazy Elder Merrill & Elder Anaya

Jonesboro District getting Haircuts! 
Grateful to members who share their talent of this
service to keep these missionaries looking their best!