Monday, February 29, 2016

Megan's Letter 2/29/16

Okay I want to start off this weekly with an incredible experience Sister Patten and I had on Tuesday.....No, it's not as spiritual as you're thinking. So we walk into Chik-fil-a to trade in our old kids meal toys for ice cream- and when we were checking out the cashier said: "Hey I'm LDS too!" It took us a minute to recognize him but he is actually a less active member in our ward. He then tried to convince us to buy cookies to help him win a competition! And obviously we gave in. As we were sitting eating our ice cream he came over and told us he would give us free meals... YES free meals! We are absolutely out of money this month so we were ecstatic. Best day ever.

The next good thing about this week was zone conference! President Hanks is a phenomenal guy. I love the way that he inspires us to be obedient rather than forcing us! I also learned that we aren't supposed to chat over email on Pday... so if I'm not responding, that's why (: There is a lot I could tell you about what he taught us but I think I will just stick with this quote:

"Before I do anything I ask myself 'Would and idiot do that?' and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing."
-Dwight Schrute

Hahaha I love Dwight and I love President for using a quote from the office.

On a more serious note- This week I have come to a new understanding of the commandments. We were asked to come share some thoughts about how keeping the commandments has blessed us in our lives in Young Women's yesterday! I have just found this so crystal clear lately. When we keep the commandments we have lasting peace and joy. When we don't, we may find bursts of pleasure and happiness- but it is not long lasting. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who loves us enough to set guidelines and boundaries. The commandments are there to protect us. When we follow them we show love to our Heavenly Father, and in return he blesses us more than we can understand.

I love being out sharing that exact concept with the people here. I know that this truly is the Lord's work. I'm thankful to be a part of it. I love y'all! Have a good week (:
-Sister Merrill

PS We went to this really cool man made rock path yesterday with Lindsey. It was incredible!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Megan's Letter 2/22/16

So... I found the only person who loves Mayday Parade in Alabama... AND IT'S LINDSEY!
Yes, I did freak out. Yes, it is fate.Those of you who know me well know how much I love this band. And those of you who know about Alabama know that this is not a common music taste. Just one more reason for me to obsess over how much I love her. It's crazy how close you get with people in such a short amount of time! 

We went on a nature walk of sorts on Saturday! At least that's what I was told it was going to be... But it ended up being a five mile walk on dirt trails in the vast forests of Alabama!(; Me and my heeled boots were not prepared. But the bridge we walked to was gorgeous and we had a lot of fun. Lindsey was our wilderness travel guide. We went to our favorite restaurant afterwards called Ricatoni's! Bad news is it gave Sister Patten and I food poisoning... Don't worry though, we're still going back. 

Well there's nothing else super exciting I have to talk about this week! The weather has been so nice though. We were up to 72 degrees at one point! I love the south. People are so crazy, there is never a dull moment. (: Hope that y'all have an awesome week. I love you!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, February 15, 2016

Megan's Letter 2/15/16

Wow.... Well this week has been stressful and good!

We spent most of the week meeting with Maurice and trying to plan his baptism. We got everything finished finally the day before!
Maurice's actual baptism was probably the most traumatic experience of my mission so far because of two reasons:
1- We couldn't find him until 30 minutes before it started. He was not where he told us we could pick him up and he was not answering his phone! After an hour of searching the streets he finally called us back and told us he had lost track of time at a friends... Then we had to drive all the way across town to pick him up at some random Burger King! Luckily the member driving us was so nice about it. I was raging hahahah but also we were way relieved to have found him.
2- Maruice is completely terrified of water. This was news to us! I mean we knew he was nervous, but we had no idea the extent of it. 
     - First time under the water: His foot popped up. He came out choking and gagging on water ): I seriously don't think he's ever been under water before. He had to have taken a deep breathe under there cause he could not stop coughing.
     -Second times the charm right? Wrong! Right before his head went under he jumped up out of the water because he was that scared.
    -Finally the third time: He started to resist but Elder Fanos just pushed him under cause he felt too bad to have to make him go again! He came out choking again.

I think I was in shock. I felt so bad for Maurice! I had to stop myself from crying because it was just such a mess. BUT luckily the rest went smoothly and after he overcame the embarrassment we had a really fun birthday party for him. Also, he received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday at church, which ended up being much more spiritual than his actual baptism. (:

Our investigator Lindsey is so sweet and made my whole Valentine's Day! When we first met her we were obsessing over this ring she got on etsy that had her and her husbands name engraved on it. Well she got me one for Valentine's! It says Sister Merrill and it has a cute little cross engraved on the other side. I love it and her so much!

Well I hope y'all had a great week. I'm grateful for the experiences I'm having on my mission and I know I definitely won't forget this week! Love you guys (:

-Sister Merrill

Monday, February 8, 2016

Megan's Letter 2/8/2016

Maurice is getting baptized on Friday!!! So excited for him. Also, A few minutes ago he walked up to Sister Patten and I at the library and told us that he got an apartment!(: He is moving in Friday morning. Wow best birthday ever for him right? It's been really cool to watch him gain a testimony of the gospel, even though his comprehension is really slow. 

We have been seeing our investigator Lindsey a lot this week! It's crazy how close you get with people in such a small amount of time. She is going through a lot of hard things all at once. I can see the gospel lifting her up and helping her through it as she continues to be open minded! Bad news is that our Gospel Principles teacher dropped the Word Of Wisdom bomb in Sunday school yesterday before we could teach it to her ourselves. Like everyone else here- She LOVES sweet tea. She has 4 gallons of it in her fridge at all times! You can imagine how panicked we felt when she leaned over and said to me "Y'all don't drink tea!?"
Scariest moment ever. Luckily she let us come over later that night and she asked us tons of questions. She asked about temples, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Word of Wisdom! So now at least she understands it, she just has to decide for herself.

Also the Elders had a baptism on Saturday for a guy that we met at the library! It went really smoothly. Erik came to the baptism and really enjoyed it. 

We are sending a package with a Book of Mormon to one of our favorite Christian artists.... Don't be surprised if we convert Josh Garrels.

Shout out to my adorable new niece Saylor Michelle Adams who came into the world on Wednesday! Congrats to Brynn and Dan (: 

I love being here and I can't wait to see what I learn throughout my mission. Love y'all have the best week!

-Sister Merrill

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Megan's letter 2/1/2016

Hi everyone! This week has been amazing and hard... But mostly good (:
     We had an incredible lesson with Erik this week! A complete turn around from where he was last lesson. He ended up being the one who asked to set a date for his baptism! Sadly two days later he changed his mind. He has decided that there is no need for a second baptism because he doesn't think someone holding the priesthood is any different than the pastor that baptized him. We have been really sad, but he met with our Bishop yesterday and has promised to keep considering it. Also, he wrote a rap about Jesus and totally talks about us in it!!! SO FUNNY. I'll include it so y'all can listen to it. He may or may not mention being in love with us in it... Just ignore that (:

          We have a baptism set on the 12th for our homeless friend Maurice! Yesterday we taught him the Word of Wisdom and he did not want to give up sweet tea. Sister Patten bravely volunteered me to quit drinking Dr.Pepper (which is basically water to me) if he would stop drinking sweet tea! He agreed so I guess I will have to follow through hahaha. Wish me luck!
     Well that's basically all I have to report back on this week. Transfer calls came and I get to stay in Florence with Sister Patten. I couldn't be happier about it (: Moroni 8:25-26 has my heart this week! Love y'all, hope all is well.
-Sister Merrill