Monday, July 24, 2017

Soccer star and a Miracle

Hey guys!  All is well here in the land of Memphis.  Transfers are next
week so we will see what happens to me.  I really hope I stay here - 
love Memphis!  

Thanks for the package!  I loved everything!  The ties were awesome, 
and I am wearing the Aggie shirt today #aggienation.  We made the 
Oreo pudding last night and it was delicious.  There are some cookies 
left - trying to stretch them out.  It's still super weird to think that it has 
been a year since I became a full-time missionary.  Time is flying! 

Saturday was really a super awesome day!  We played soccer with 
the Spanish Branch's team against another ward in the area.  It was 
amazing!  It was also the first time I have felt like an athlete again my 
whole mission.  Best part - we won the game 3-2.  In the last couple 
of minutes the other team got really close to scoring and tying the game.  
I was playing defender and our goalie had just dove onto the ground to 
block a kick.  Right after that the other team tried to score again so I ran 
and kinda did a jump spin and blocked it with my behind - It was amazing!  
It was so much fun but it was also really hot!  It honestly looked like some
one had dumped a gallon of water on me by the end of the game.  I actually 
drank a gallon of water.  We forgot water so after the game we went to a 
gas station to get some water and a gallon was the cheapest.  I bought it 
and pretty much drank it all!  Today my legs are super sore.  Not really a big 
surprise that I'm a little out of shape.  I feel like I am a different kind of fit now.  
can walk and ride my bike all day long without a problem....Running is kind 
of a different story - ha ha.

This week leading up to Saturday was pretty good.  Our car was still in the 
shop so we were on bikes again.  We haven't had a lot of people to teach 
for a while, so that's been kind of frustrating.  Yesterday we found a couple 
of solid investigators.  Hopefully all goes well with them.  We just keep 
looking and finding and keeping the faith.    

We did have a really amazing experience this past week - I might even call 
it a miracle!  Here is some background.  We teach an English class with the 
sisters every Tuesday and Thursday.  It is super fun.  We have about fifteen 
people that attend the class each week.  This week we had a new guy show 
up and introduce himself to us.  His name is Ricardo and he is from Columbia.  
At the end of class we invited everyone to church as we always do and then 
everyone left.  Then yesterday at church Ricardo just walks into the door for 
sacrament meeting!  We were so excited - it was so awesome to see him again!  
After sacrament meeting we started talking to him.  The sisters had given him 
pamphlet and they had told us that he wanted to talk to us.  So we took this 
opportunity at church to talk to him.  He asked us to come over and teach him.  
What?  This never happens!  Of course we said yes!  We hung out with him for 
the rest of church.  He told us God led him to the church.  I asked him to explain 
that a little more.  He said he went to a store to buy something that he has never 
gone to before.  He said he probably never would have, but that day he felt that 
he should go into that store.  While in that store he saw one of our English class 
signs.  He wrote down the phone number and called the sisters.  He asked them 
about the English class and told them that he would probably be there.  He then 
told us when we announced that we had a church service he was really happy 
because he had been feeling a desire to learn more about the Bible and Jesus 
Christ.  It was truly amazing!  This experience was a huge testimony builder 
for me.  Here we are - missionaries needing people to teach and God sends us 
Ricardo.  Goreally does bless us in our trials.  God really is in the details.  
Remember that!  I sure love you guys!  

Love Elder Merrill

Elder Merrill loves Memphis!

Elder Merrill & Elder Smalley with Luis.

Luis was baptized this past February and recently broke his leg.  
He asked the Elders if they could hang out and take him to the park.  
Elder Merrill said they had a wonderful day serving on of their friends.

The Spanish Branch soccer game

Elder Merrill said the following about this jersey-

"I bought a little present for myself with the 20 bucks that was in my 
package from Grandpa and Grandma.  There is a little Spanish mall 
here that sells jerseys for 15 bucks and then puts whatever number you 
want on it for free.  Real Madrid was the closest thing I could find to 
Real Salt Lake.  And of course - my number 20.  I think it is pretty sweet!"

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