Monday, March 27, 2017

Together again with my Trainer

Hey guys!  Transfers were today which is always exciting.  Elder Gonzalez
is leaving me and being switched to English speaking.  He is super excited. 
My new companion is Elder Santiago - yep - I am going back with my trainer. 
He has been out serving a little more than a year now.  I'm excited because we
already know each other so it should be pretty fun.  I am staying in my area in
Little Rock but I am no longer district leader.  It's all good though.  I learned a
lot from being a leader and am so grateful for the opportunity I had to lead.  A
lot of other changes took place with this transfer.  They split up all of our zones. 
We now have 11 zones instead of 6 and there are 4 missionaries who will serve
as Assistants to the President.  It will be different but I think a lot of good things
will come from the change.

This past week was pretty normal.  It was a really good week to end the transfer
on.  We found a couple of new really awesome people to teach so hopefully they
are still around next week.  It's really weird to think that I have been serving as a
missionary for eight months.  I still feel like a greenie some days.     

Sounds like a lot is happening back home.  That's awesome Grandma Rae turned
90!  As always - Thanks for everything!  The church is true!  Love you all!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill and Elder Gonzalez

Hermana Quigley, Hermana Keller,
Elder Jorgensen, Elder Sweeten,
Elder Gonzalez and Elder Merrill

The ALRM Spanish Zone
All together -in 2 separate places

Monday, March 20, 2017

First mission Spanish Zone Conference

Hey guys!  I hope that everything is going well!  We had a pretty great
week.  It started out with a good day on Tuesday.  We were able to teach
an investigator who had not been taught in a while.  It was really cool
because we went in with one lesson plan and ended up teaching something
totally different.  It is amazing to truly witness how the spirit works. 

On Wednesday we had the first ever mission Spanish zone conference!  It
was so cool because everything was in Spanish and I was able to understand
pretty much all of it.  After the conference all the companionships were divided
and went on splits the rest of the day in our area.  The next day we had a mission
Zone Conference here in Little Rock.  Everyone serving on the Arkansas side of
the mission was there. It was really fun to see past companions and people I have
served in the same district with.  At both zone conference meetings everyone was
instructed on how to use the Book of Mormon better in our teaching and finding
efforts.  It was really cool to see how everyone taught the same thing.  Yet another
Holy Ghost testimony builder!  You guys are awesome!  I love you all!

Love Elder Merrill

ALRM Spanish Zone Conference
Elders Sweeten, Merrill, Jorgensen & Gonzales

ALRM Zone Conference

Elder Merrill is on the right-4 rows up

Monday, March 13, 2017

Blessed to teach - Blessed to learn

Hey guys!  This week was pretty normal, nothing really special
happened. But this upcoming week should be super awesome!
We are having the first EVER Spanish zone conference in the
mission!  I'm so excited to be part of it!  It's right before our
regular zone conference so the missionaries who travel far will
spend the night in various apartments close by.  This means I get
to be in the presence of Elder Toomer again!  I'm super pumped! 

We were on walk week this last week and walked quite a bit. Pretty
sure I lost a few Southern gained pounds - haha.  I had my second
district meeting this week and it went really well.  I instructed on
teaching the people and not just lessons. We really focused on how
to ask inspired questions to check for knowing and understanding.
I am blessed to teach.  I really enjoy teaching.  It's pretty sweet.  I
never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do so it has really kind
of surprised me. 

The Lord is our greatest teacher of all.  We are so blessed to learn
from Him every day.  I am so blessed to be a missionary for the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and share this true gospel.  

Thanks for everything! 

Love Elder Merrill

Little Rock Spanish Zone


Feasting on the Word of God

Family Home Evening in President Wakolo's home

Monday, March 6, 2017

Birthday adventures in Little Rock

Hey guys!  Thanks for the birthday package.  Everything was
awesome!  The cake cookies were amazing.  I shared them with
everyone and they loved them as well.  Thank you so much for
the socks!  I love them!  And the Aggie socks are amazing!  To
be honest I think the mission has made me feel like I'm 22 with
everything we do so it was nice to be reminded that I was only
turning 19 on Monday. 

Things are going awesome here in Little Rock.  Last p-day - my
birthday - was so fun!  We went to the Clinton museum and they
had a super awesome Beatles exhibit.  I loved it!  I have lots of
pictures.  We also walked across the big Clinton bridge and I took
some cool pictures of the city.  That night the ward invited us over
for a "Family Home Evening" at one of their houses and turns out
they threw a surprise birthday party for me.  It was super awesome! 
Hispanics really know how to throw a party.  We had games, pizza,
and I got my face shoved into a cake - Ha Ha!   Good fun!

Being a district leader has been such a cool experience.  My district
is so awesome and I have grown to love them all so much.  Our area
has been struggling a little bit lately and we are trying to change that.
They have just been doing the same thing over and over here as far as
tracting and stuff like that - it's not working.  So at the moment I am
trying to figure out how to change that. My Spanish is coming along
great.  It is really fun to be in an all Spanish area.  It also helps that my
companion knows more Spanish than English.

My companion, Elder Gonzales, is from Angol, Chile.  He said that it
is in the Chile Concepcion South mission.  Today we are going to have
a pretty relaxed P-day.  It's will be nice to take a little break.  It is really
nice to be busy all the time but sometimes you miss having nothing
to do.  Thanks for everything!  I love you!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill at the Little Rock Spanish Branch

Elder Sweeten, Elder Gonzales, Elder Jorgensen & Elder Merrill
 on the Clinton Bridge in Little Rock

Little Rock Arkansas

Little Rock Capitol Building

Walk this way to the Clinton Museum

"President" Elder Merrill

                                                               Can you find all 4 Elders?

Beatles Exhibit

Get back to work Elder Merrill