Monday, April 24, 2017

Prayers are answered!

Hey guys!  First of all - Thanks for all of your prayers of safety. 
I kinda got bumped by a car this week on my bike.  It could have
been a lot worse.  Talk about blessings.  Nothing really happened
except I bent my rim a little on my back tire.  I was going pretty
fast down a hill to gain speed to go up the next hill.  A lady pulled
up to a stop sign between the two hills.  I was sure that she looked
right at me and I thought we made eye contact.  But I guess she didn't
see me and she started to go right when I got the intersection.  She
bumped my back tire but I didn't even fall off my bike. All is well. 
I called a bike shop and they said they could probably straighten out
my rim since I could still ride it.  I took it in and the guy fixed it for
free because he said he couldn't get it perfect.  It works for now but
he said in the future it will probably bend again a little and I will have
to buy a new rim.  It was crazy. 

This week was pretty average.  It was walk week so a little hot.  That is
why I was on my bike this week.  We have a new awesome investigator
that we are working with right now.  His name is Jose Torres.  He seriously
asks us the hardest questions ever.  It is awesome though.  He says that we
are the only people that have been able to give him answers to his questions
that make sense.  I know that this is because of the spirit.    

We have had a great P-Day so far.  We went to the big dam bridge and
walked across it.  Then we  played sand volley ball.  It was pretty sweet. 

Thanks again for your prayers.  I know they were answered regarding my
safety.  I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers everyday.  The Lord
is always mindful of each of us.  Have a great week! 

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill & Elder Santiago at church

Elder Merrill at the big dam bridge

Lots of ALRM Elders by the big dam bridge

On the big dam bridge

P-Day Sand Volleyball in Little Rock

Monday, April 17, 2017

Playing volleyball with the President

Hey guys!  This week was really great!  We were able to set
another baptismal date!  It is so awesome to finally start to see
success in this area.  We had interviews with President Wakolo
this week.  I always love to talk with him.  He is a spiritual giant.
It is awesome to think he will soon be a General Authority.  And
to think I have talked with someone who will someday be talking
at General Conference is pretty cool too. 

For P-day today we went up to the Old Mill and it was so awesome!
You should look it up on google maps. We took some sweet pics.

Also President Wakolo came and played volleyball with us today.
It was so cool.  I think it's pretty awesome to say that I have played
volleyball with a General Authority.   

Thank you so much for the Easter package - You guys are the best!
I especially loved the little Christus statue you sent.  It sits on my
desk now.  I am so grateful everyday for my Savior Jesus Christ and
for his atonement.  Love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

P-day Volleyball game with President Wakolo

Elder Merrill is in the red shorts and white shirt


Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill
Elder Jorgensen
Elder Sweeten

Little Rock Elders on a Log
Elder Merrill - Elder Sweeten - Elder Edwards - Elder Santiago - Elder Jorgensen 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Missionary Miracles

Hey guys!  How is everybody?  Sounds like the St. George trip
was fun.  I have to admit that it was weird not going down there
to play baseball there like I have for the past 9 years.  Thanks for
all the pictures - the boys are getting so big!

This week was pretty good.  We got the car back so that is always
nice.  We went on exchanges with the zone leaders so I got to hang
out with Elder Sweeten for a couple days.  It was so awesome!  We
had a great time together and I always learn a ton from him.  We
reminisced about the Jonesboro days and all the good times we had
there while serving together.  It's gonna be so sad when he goes home. 
I am grateful for his friendship.

We recently had a couple of miracles happen in the area. 
Miracle #1:  We found an old investigator knocking doors one day.
He told us that he really wanted us to come back. He said that he had
been thinking about talking to the missionaries for the while.  I know
the Lord led us to him and I am so glad we found him.  We are really
excited to go back and teach him more. 
Miracle #2:  We also had two people come to church!  They were the
first investigators to come in about 9 weeks and it was so awesome!
They really enjoyed being there and I am praying they return. 

Things are going well with Elder Santiago.  I can't remember if I told
you he is from Puerto Rico.  I enjoy serving with him, but out of all of
my mission companions he has probably tested my patience the most. 
I have really been working on seeing people through the Saviors eyes
like President Eyring talked about.  This transfer has definitely given
me the wonderful opportunity to do so.

I'm really looking forward to Easter!  I love my Savior.  He loves me. 
He loves each of you.  And I love all of you.
I hope you have an awesome week!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill with President Wakolo and family

Elder Merrill by Little Rock Central High School.
Little Rock Nine took place here.

The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African American
students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which
the students were initially prevented from entering the racially
segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas.
They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Monday, April 3, 2017

General Conference was so awesome!

Hey guys!  General Conference was so awesome!  We watched all
5 sessions at the church, and most of them in Spanish.  It was really
cool to be able to understand all the messages in Spanish.  I am also
excited to go back and watch/read them all again in English.  There
were some really awesome talks!  I remember that before the mission
I really didn't like conference all that much but now I love it!  I really
loved Joaquin E. Costa's and Elder Rasband's talks.  Even though Elder
Costa directed his talk toward investigators, I think it is so important for
each of us as members to know because we all become converted to the
gospel in the same way.  One of the most important things I have learned
out here is that the most important convert I am going to bring into the
gospel is myself.  It has been an amazing experience to be able to grow
in the gospel along with the people I am teaching.

When President Wakolo was called as a General Authority Seventy we
all kinda freaked out.  It was so awesome!  Funny story - in the President's
weekly email last week he said that he was going to give his counselors
each a week to be the mission president and experience all that it entails. 
Turns out he just had to go to Utah for General Conference.  We all thought
it was pretty funny. 

Things are going good with Elder Santiago.  He is district leader
right now.  I really enjoyed being the district leader and I look
forward to being one again.  Little Rock is still awesome. I love
the city but sometimes the work here can be hard.  Everyone that
we ask the question "do you know where any Hispanics live?" they
just tell us to go to the other area in our district so that can really be
frustrating sometimes.  All in all, this area of my mission has taught
me that growth really does come in times of trial. 

This last week we were on walk week and it is beginning to get
hot again.  I'm gonna die in the summer!   But all was well.  We
had a lesson with a former investigator who is the husband of a
less active and we set a baptismal date with him.  It was awesome!
It's the first baptismal date that has been set in this area for at least
2 transfers.  We are hoping to turn things around here and so far
things are looking good.  We also picked up a couple other promising
investigators so we are pretty happy about that.  It really is great when
you have people to teach.

We are having a pretty chill P-day today.  Just kinda hanging out
at the church!  Thanks for everything.  Love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill with President Wakolo and his wife
when he arrived in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.