Monday, March 28, 2016

Megan's Letter 3/28/16

Transfers were on Wednesday! Saying bye to Sister Patten was probably the hardest part of my mission so far... BUT I love Sister Hintze! She is so sweet and kind. She always has her "arrows out" or in other words, she puts everyone else before herself. I'm so grateful for what I'm learning from her!

This week we had a really great lesson with Charlotte and her son, James. Up to this point James hasn't really taken much interest! He sits in for the lessons and comes to church, but only because Charlotte makes him.

In this particular lesson we asked him: "James, how do you feel about the things we've shared with you this last month?"

He responded: "Well, I believe the Mormon book to be another book like the Bible."


I had no idea he had even been paying attention all this time.

So I ventured: "Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet?"

He said he didn't know enough about him to decide!

So right then and there we looked up the Joseph Smith movie and watched it with them. We invited him to pray about it, and we will follow up in our lesson tomorrow! I'm so grateful that the Holy Ghost has been opening him up and softening his heart. It helps me realize that I'm not really the missionary here, but the Spirit is.

Easter Sunday was yesterday! It was also fast Sunday, which makes for an interesting testimony meeting here in Alabama. A nice, warm, crazy southern welcome for Sister Hintze (; 

I'm so grateful for everything I've learned this week! Hard work is the key to happiness. 

Have a great week everyone! Love you!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, March 21, 2016

Megan's Letter 3/21/16

In Memory of the dearly departed: Sister Madeleine Patten

Today we honor the (mission) life and (mission) death of a true disciple of Christ. Over the course of her time in Alabama, Maddie touched the hearts of many- including her favorite companion, Sister Merrill.

We recognize that for every missionary, this life must eventually come to an end. Sadly Sister Patten was needed on the other side (of the country). We accept the fact that there are bigger and better things waiting for her in this next life (probably marriage in the next 6 months).

NAH just kidding. But seriously, my heart is being ripped to shreds as Sister Patten heads back home to Utah. I am so very grateful for her example to me! She is truly one of THE best friends I have ever had. Friends look out for her at UVU (:

On a happier note, CHARLOTTE GOT BAPTIZED😄

It couldn't have gone better. I have never met anyone more prepared to accept the gospel.

She asked me to draw her a picture that she can stitch onto her church bag.
She said: "I want a gate like the gate of baptism leading to a house- that would represent the church, and then the path to keep goin to the temple, then up to heaven."
So I drew this picture for her and I hope she likes it!

In other exciting news, transfer calls came on Saturday! I am going to be staying in Florence and TRAINING next transfer! I feel so under qualified, but I know that the Lord will help me every step of the way. I am so excited to meet Sister Hintze!

This coming Sunday is Easter, and the church came out with a new video this year! It's called #Hallelujah and everyone should go watch it. It is really good, but my favorite Easter video is still the one called "Because of Him" from a few years ago.

 I am so beyond grateful that the Savior conquered both spiritual and physical death, so that we can too. I hope everyone takes some time to recognize what Jesus Christ did for us, and celebrate His resurrection this Easter Season.

I love y'all! Talk to you next week.

-Sister Merrill

P.S. This picture is the Alabama Birmingham Mission in a nutshell... and I love it (:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Megan's Letter 3/14/16

Breaking news!!
So in a turn of events- Sister Patten and I are now in a Tripan! One of the STLs was emergency transferred to another area, so we get to hang out with her companion, Sister Griffith, for the last two weeks of the transfer. She is such a hard worker! We are lucky to have her. This also means we are covering both Florence and Russellville during this time. In total, that's an area that takes about two hours to drive across... We will never run out of places to tract (:

We ended up going to the temple on Thursday, I really enjoyed it. The Birmingham temple is smaller than a church building! That was different, but I liked it. We also spent most of the day in Birmingham figuring out the whole transfer situation. We went to dinner in Birmingham at this pizza place called "Mellow Mushroom". It was SO good! It started pouring rain while we were eating and we were parked about two blocks away! We were all in nice shoes since we had been in the temple- So we ended up taking them off and running in the rain barefoot all the way to the car! It was surprisingly fun, we felt like little kids playing in the rain (:

The ward party was on Friday! The theme was the S.S. Florence Family Fun Ship.... cheesy huh!? But we had so much fun. So many people that we've been teaching came and opened up to the ward. Everyone was dancing and having a blast. I think it was one of the first times I have really connected with the Florence Ward.

The Russellville Sisters had a baptism for their investigator Lucille on Saturday! We were able to have a lesson with her the day before. It's cool to be working in both areas because we have a lot more lessons with progressing investigators. 

Yesterday church went really well! All the missionaries in the ward were assigned to speak. My talk was on Missionary Work and The Atonement. I really enjoyed studying for and preparing for it.We told all of our investigators that we were speaking, which worked pretty well considering 8 of them came to church! We may have a baptism this Saturday for Charlotte and two other people we've been teaching. I feel so blessed to be able to watch others grow closer to the Savior. 

This week I have found a lot of comfort in the hymn: "Where Can I Turn For Peace?"
I have definitely found my peace in Jesus Christ and in constant prayer to Heavenly Father.

I love this gospel. I love Alabama. 

Have a great week everyone!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, March 7, 2016

Megan's Letter 3/7/16

This week started off in a very interesting way. Sister Patten and I were tracting in the projects when we ran into this older woman named Charlotte. She was very kind and even gave us some little bracelets she had been making! We shared the Book of Mormon with her and planned to come back two days later.
The second time we went to teach her we started to talk about the Restoration. We didn't get very far because Charlotte LOVES to talk (as do most southerners). She told us all about how she quilts, knits, and how her favorite show on Netflix is My Little Pony. It was hard not to laugh at some points! She also told us a lot about her life- it's been a hard one. She has gone through several abusive relationships throughout her life and used to be a drug addict! It amazes me how she turned her life around and got clean to raise her son, who is now 15. She came to church yesterday with her son and had us over for dinner! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and baptism, so they are going to pray about those two things. (:
Fast Sunday went really well! We had 6 of the people we are teaching show up, which was a huge blessing. This week was full of hard work and focus, and the outcome was amazing to see! We are going to the temple on Wednesday and I am beyond excited for that.

I know that through hard trials we can find peace as we trust in the Lord. Prayer is the biggest vessel of that peace and comfort. I would encourage anyone who feels discouraged to get down on your knees, and pour your heart out to our Heavenly Father. I know He is listening, and I know He will be there for us.

I hope that y'all have a good week! I love you!
-Sister Merrill