Monday, May 29, 2017

My First Baptism!

Habiendo sido comisionado por jesucristo te bautizo en 
el nombre del padre, y del hijo, y del EspĂ­ritu Santo.

We had 3 baptisms on Saturday!!!  It was so amazing to finally 
have my first baptism.  We as missionaries even got to baptize 
them.  We baptized two brothers, Arian and Merlin, and another 
girl named Ivanna.  Elder Spencer baptized and confirmed Merlin 
and Ivanna, and I baptized and confirmed Arian.  It was truly an 
amazing day!  We have been planning the baptism of Arian and 
Merlin pretty much this whole transfer, but with Ivanna it was a 
different story.  She originally had a baptism date set for June 10th 
but we had found out last Sunday she was going to Florida for a 
month to be with her dad.  The night we found out Elder Spencer 
told her he probably wasn't going to be here when she got back 
because he would be returning home.  She then asked us if she 
could get baptized on Saturday and of course we said yes!  W
taught her all five lessons this past week and then she had her 
interview on Friday.  We had the baptisms on Saturday and the
confirmations on Sunday during sacrament meeting.  It was all 
just an amazing experience!  The confirmations were especially 
amazing.  I was the first to confirm and I'm not gonna lie - I was 
super nervous to do it in Spanish.  But it turned out to be one of 
the coolest experiences in my life.  As soon as I started with the
confirmation, I all of a sudden knew exactly what to say and how 
to say it.  The gospel is just amazing!  

Our week was basically just making sure that we were all ready 
for the baptism on Saturday and that all of the families were ready 
too.  It really was a pretty great week.  We decided to ride bikes 
yesterday so we would have enough miles to go and do something 
today.  We went disc golfing and it was really fun!  About half of the 
course was through a forest.  

We had another crazy awesome storm Saturday night.  I was laying 
in bed still awake and the wind started blowing really hard.  I thought 
we were going to have a tornado.  I went into the front living room and 
looked out the window and watched it for a while.  We lost power about 
11:20ish.  It was crazy because the power turned on and off about five 
times before it finally went out.  It didn't come back on until about 9:30 
Sunday morning so we had half of our studies in the dark.  The thunder 
was crazy loud, but it was some of the coolest thunder I have ever heard. 

Well that's about all that's happening here in Memphis.  We didn't see 
anything too crazy this week.  I love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Spencer, Arian, Ivanna, Merlin & Elder Merrill

Elder Spencer, Merlin & Arian & Elder Merrill

Elder Spencer, Ivanna & Elder Merrill

So many different churches in the South

Hermanas Keller & Petty and Elders Spencer, Merrill, Anaya & Pickering

Frisbee Golf P-day fun

Sketch of Elder Merrill by Elder Anaya

"I drew a portrait of Elder Merrill cause he wanted one."
-Elder Anaya  :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Elder Merrill loves Memphis!

Hey guys!  Memphis is still amazing.  Never a dull moment here.
This week we literally watched a guy pop the curb, drive across
10 feet of grass, through a gas station lot, to the other side of a
corner all to just bypass a red light.  Yep - that's Memphis.

This week was pretty great.  We had awesome lessons with our
top investigators and we have started planning baptisms!  We
are totally going to baptize this week and I'm SO excited!  Two
kids are getting baptized, Merlin and Arian. They are the only
non-members in their family.  We will also baptize a girl named
Ivonna who is a daughter in a returning less active family.  It is
SO amazing to finally see some fruits from our labors. 

We went to the national barbecue cooking contest down on Neal
Street. A member gave us free tickets and it was amazing!  It was
literally the best barbeque I have ever eaten.  Beale Street was also
super awesome.  All the restraunts had live bands going and their
windows down. 

Thanks for the Utah State Shirts in the package.  Elder Spencer and
I wore them today.  We went to look in Big Daddy's Pawn Shop and
found some awesome guns.  We also played soccer and frisbee with
the district.  I'm really out of shape.  Love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill loves Memphis!

Elder Merrill and Elder Spencer

Elder Merrill takes on the 
World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest

Swinefeld booth

Elder Merrill
in his new Aggie shirt-
leaning on a gun-
in Big Daddy's Pawn Shop

Elder Anaya, Elder Spencer, Elder Merrill & Elder Pickering
hanging out in the pawn shop

Monday, May 15, 2017

First week in Memphis

Hey guys!  My first week in Memphis was really great!  I was able
to meet all of our top investigators.  We have 5 people with baptismal
dates right now and they are all super solid.  They are all with families
as well so that's so awesome.  This should be a great transfer.  Elder
Spencer and I are getting along great so that is awesome.  This first
week flew by so I'm kind of afraid this transfer will be over super fast. 
This is kind of sad because quite of few amazing ALRM missionaries
will return home.  I can't even believe I will hit 10 months out this week!  

So Skype was super awesome yesterday!  I still cant believe that it was
only 5 months ago we talked before.  The boys are getting so big which
makes me sad but oh well - I'm so glad to be out here serving and know
that everyone is doing well back home.

The Spanish Branch here in Memphis is so awesome.  We have some
sweet members so it should be a good time.  The weather is starting to
warm up quite a bit so I should be sweating off some weight soon.

A funny thing in Memphis is this thing called the Memphis walk.  People
seriously just weave in between cars while crossing the middle of the road
like 30 feet behind a crosswalk at a street light, I will try to get a video this
week to show you because it is pretty hilarious.  We also have this awesome
Statue of Liberty statue really close to our apartment. 

New apartment address:
3305 W. Monticello Circle Apt. 3
Memphis, TN  38115

We went to the Memphis zoo today and it was awesome!  They even had a
panda!  We spent like 4 hours there and I took a lot of pictures for you. 

Well that's about all I can think of that happened this week.
Thanks for everything.  I love you all!

Love Elder Merrill


Elder Merrill, Elder Spencer, Sister Keller, Sister Petty, Elder Anaya, Elder Pickering

Elder Merrill

Elders Spencer, Pickering, Merrill & Anaya

Missionary Fun

Sisters Petty & Keller, Elders Spencer, Merrill, Anaya & Pickering

Awesome Statue of Liberty by my apartment

We were all so excited to talk to Kaden!

Monday, May 8, 2017

I'm going to Memphis!

Hey guys!  I finally made it to Memphis!  I am serving with Elder
Spencer again.  We both trained Elder Giles in Jonesboro if you
didn't remember.  I'm pretty excited.  He goes home at the end of
this transfer so it should be pretty fun.  Yes - Elder Giles is taking
my place - he's headed to Little Rock to be companions with Elder
Santiago.  I have loved Little Rock but I'm super excited to go serve
on the Tennessee side of the mission in Memphis!

Besides transfers this last week wast pretty normal.  It was a good
last week here in Little Rock.  Nothing really out of the ordinary
happened.  We had a really awesome lesson with our top investigator. 
Every lesson he just asks a billion questions and they are all about the
doctrine of Christ.  It is so much better than answering questions like
"how many wives do you want?"  But of course those questions are
always entertaining.

On Friday we went and walked around downtown Little Rock and had
for dinner.  It was so fun. The video will explain what happened. Haha.
It was amazing. 

My new address is:
3305 W. Monticello Cir.
Memphis, TN 38115

Thanks for everything.  The church is true! 

Love Elder Merrill

This is worth watching!
Elder Merrill loves serving in the South!

Elder Merrill, Elder Jorgensen, Elder Santiago & Elder Sweeten
Book of Mormon reading & dinner with a family in Little Rock

Elder Kaden Merrill & Elder Connor Jorgensen


The ALRM missionaries always armed with a
blue Book of Mormon everywhere they go

Transfer Day - May 8, 2017
Elder Merrill is going to Memphis, Tennessee

Good-bye Elder Santiago

Loading and unloading the trailer of missionary luggage and bikes

Memphis, Tennessee

Elder Spencer (on the right) waiting for his
new companion - Elder Merrill - to arrive in Memphis from Little Rock

Elder Merrill with ? and Elder Spencer and Elder Pickering

Elder Merrill excited to see Elder Anaya again! 

Elder Merrill, Elder Spencer and Elder Anaya
Memphis Spanish District Missionaries

Elder Merrill by the Memphis Tennessee Temple

Elder Merrill sending P-day emails from his IPad after arriving in Memphis

Monday, May 1, 2017

Super Crazy Awesome Thunderstorm

Hey guys!  We had a super crazy and awesome thunderstorm that
hit Little Rock on Saturday.  During the night it knocked the power
out.  We were without power for about 24 hours.  So that made for
an interesting Sunday.  Since the power was out in our building we
moved church to the Pinnacle Mountain Building across town.  Our
Spanish branch joined the English ward there.  It is the smallest ward
building here so with our branch and the English ward we were packed
in like sardines - haha.  We also had to translate so that brought back
some good memories from my Jonesboro days.  I tried to take a video
of the storm so you could here the thunder.  It seriously sounded like
a roaring lion at times. 

Despite the crazy storm this week was pretty average.  We had another
rainy day on Tuesday so we went to into various stores and were able
to talk to like a ton of Hispanics.  We learned that it is a lot easier to
find Hispanics shopping in stores than in their homes.

The Spanish missionaries from Jonesboro came to Little Rock for a
day to go on exchanges with the zone leaders.  So that meant I got to
see Elder Giles again.  It was so awesome to hang out with him again.

It is so crazy that a year ago at this time I opened my mission call!  I
seriously remember it like it was yesterday. That was an amazing night
that definitely changed my life.

I am seriously so excited to talk to you all on Mother's Day!  We will
make plans this Sunday and I'll let you know where we can Skype from.
Hopefully everything will go smoothly.  You guys are awesome and I
love you so much.  I hope you have a great week.

Love Elder Merrill

The Little Rock Spanish District
Elders Jorgensen, Sweeten, Santiago, Merrill & the Sisters

Elders Santiago, Smalley, Giles & Elder Merrill
at the Little Rock Capitol Building

Elder Giles & Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill & Elder Giles
on a large eagle statue in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas

Elder Merrill at the Little Rock Zoo

A video of the crazy awesome
thunderstorm with roaring lion thunder