Monday, August 14, 2017

The mish is awesome! Patriarchal blessings are awesome!

Hola everyone!  All continues to go well here in Memphis. So 
yesterday Hermana Keller and I performed a musical number in 
sacrament meeting.  We played "Come Unto Jesus." I accompanied 
on the piano and she played her flute.  I think it went well.  I sat my 
iPad on the bench with the cover closed to record it so that's why it 
is dark.  I have a video of a practice I can try to send later.  Enjoy!  


I had the music memorized just like old times - Ha Ha.  It was really 
awesome to actually prepare something and perform again. It makes 
me want to get better on the piano when I return home.  I have been 
learning how to play the guitar a little bit out here.  I know a couple 
songs.  I have decided I really want to take a guitar class in college 
now.  Music is so awesome!  

This week was good.  We were able to find more new investigators!  
It is so great to finally be able to expand our teaching pool.  Ricardo 
is so awesome.  We had a little scare with him this week.  His phone 
wasn't working on Friday so we went to visit him.  When we knocked 
on his door we saw him walk up to the door but he didn't answer.  We 
got a little worried thinking he didn't want to meet with us anymore. We 
decided to stay in the area and knock a few doors.  By doing this we 
ended up finding a really cool guy named Eduardo.  The next day we
were able to visit Ricardo again and he is still solid.  Blessings!

I had a super awesome experience reading my patriarchal blessing this 
week.  Sometimes I get down about baptisms - I just want to baptize 
everyone!  In my blessing there is a section about my mission and being 
a missionary.  I have read it many times before but this past week when I 
read it again it changed my whole outlook regarding my mission. The part 
that caught my eye talks about how I will see success in the people that 
work around me and how that will bring me joy.  Looking back I now realize 
people who are around me have always succeeded.  It has honestly been 
amazing because I love being out here and being a missionary.  I have really 
learned this past year that seeing other people happy makes me happy too!  
      The mish is awesome!  Patriarchal blessings are awesome!  
I have a huge testimony of them.  I read my blessing a couple times a week -
I love it so much!

This week we have Zone Conference so I am super pumped.  They are 
always awesome.  I always look forward to being taught by President.  
I have learned so much out here while serving the Lord.  I also learned 
recently that my release date will by July 3, 2018.  I am going to make the 
most of each and every day I get to wear my missionary tag!  Thanks for
everything!  I love you guys!

Love Elder Merrill

This is Ricardo.
He has a baptismal date set for August 26.
We love him!

The Memphis 6-pack

Service with a Smile 

P-day at the MEMPHIS ZOO 

Monday, August 7, 2017

God has a plan for everyone!

Greetings from Memphis!  Missionary life is really going well
here.  It's crazy that you guys will start school in a couple 
weeks.  The kids here start school today.  

This week we finally had some good things start to happen. 
We were able to have a couple good lessons with Ricardo 
which was awesome.  He always asks us some really deep 
questions so that is always a good sign.  He definitely keeps 
us on our spiritual toes. 

We have also started to have routine lessons again with some 
previous investigators.  Their names are Evelia and Fernando.  
They progressed a lot when we were teaching them regularly. 
Then last transfer they moved and things got really crazy and 
we weren't able to teach them as much.  They have started to 
come to church again every week so that is really awesome.  
Yesterday we had a really powerful lesson with them about the 
plan of salvation and repentance.  We had a really wonderful 
discussion about the pre-existence which fascinated them.  We 
had a member there with us and he was such a champ.  We  
talked about the five steps of Christ's gospel which are 
-receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost &
-enduring to the end.  
After we shared these steps, the member bore a really powerful 
testimony of repentance and how we can always start over.  After 
that Evelia and Fernando opened up to us about why it's been so 
hard for us to meet with them and how they know they need to join 
this church and how they want to change.  The spirit in that room 
was so powerful.  Everyone was totally crying.  It felt like what I 
have imagined Relief Society to sometimes be - haha.  

It has been so awesome to finally start to see success in the area.  
It's hard when the work doesn't go just how you imagine it.  I have 
learned out here as a missionary that when I get down or frustrated 
that I can take it to the Lord.  I know I can take anything to the Lord.
God has a plan for everyone!  He has a plan for me - he has a plan 
for you.  He has a plan for everyone and everything.  

Today I went and got a haircut because next week is zone conference 
and I need to look my best.  My hair was getting pretty long because I 
haven't cut it in about 2 months.  We don't have a member in the area 
that cuts our hair so we have to go to a salon. I wish we had a member.  
After that we just kinda chilled at the church (not my favorite).  We also 
went to a Nike clearance store and I bought some golf pants for a killer 
deal so that was sweet!  I got a black for pair for $30 - originally $125 
so literally a steal.  They are the comfiest things that have ever touched 
my legs.  It barely feels like I am wearing pants - so blessed!  

As always - thanks for all your prayers and love and support.  I really 
hope everyone has an awesome week!  I love you all!

Love Elder Merrill


-English class in Memphis-
The Elders and Hermanas teach an English class 
every Tuesday and Thursday.  Elder Merrill loves it.  

There are cars here called Hoopdies.  
I have been trying to find a crazy one to take a picture of and 
send to you guys and I finally did.  They are pretty much olderish 
cars raised up and on massive rims.  This pink one was huge.  I think 
the car was like a little Nissan and it's now as tall as that man standing by it.  

We recently ate at a restaurant called the Commissary.  
Part of the movie The Firm was filmed here.  How cool is that?  
I also ate the best ribs of my life here - definitely fallen in love with Memphis BBQ!