Monday, October 31, 2016

Megan's Letter 10/31/16

Hey I hope y'all are having a great Halloween so far! We did most of our celebrating on Saturday at Trunk or Treat!(: It was especially fun because Lindsey came to visit, and Kylie came with us as well!

On Wednesday we saw Diana! It was a really cool experience because when we got to her house, she wasn't home! Then we were driving down the street and we saw her member friend doing yard work, so we got out to help. About 15 minutes later Diana and her husband pulled up and invited us over! We were able to read Alma 32 with her, and get her back on track to prepare to be baptized. She and her two grand kids showed up to Trunk or Treat as well!
On Thursday I went on an exchange with Sister Alyssa Willardson in Guntersville, AL. It was super fun to talk because she is from Sandy, UT and went to Jordan High School! We know a few of the same people. She is such a sweetheart. She is always positive and keeps her focus on the Savior! We went and watched the sunrise over the Tennessee River for morning exercises (':

We had a great lesson with Zekayla last night in a member's home! It was good because her mom came so we were finally able to set a baptismal date for either the 1st or 2nd Saturday in November! What a huge blessing. (: Her mom had us all put rhinestones on our foreheads. Not sure why.😂
Earlier last week I was reading in Alma 29! Verses 1-3 say:
"1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

 2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

 3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me."
It's amazing how we gain this desire to share the gospel as we gain a testimony of it! It's what we have been calling "the Tree of Life effect". Just as Lehi desired to share the fruit of the Tree of Life with his family, we too can have a desire to take the gospel to others as we partake of it's blessings.

I hope y'all have a great week and a Happy Halloween!(:

-Sister Megan Merrill

Monday, October 24, 2016

Megan's Letter 10/24/16

We carved pumpkins last week 😄 And it's finally cooling down outside!! We were in the high 80's earlier in the week and then we dropped way down to the low 60's. Fall has FINALLY made it's way to Alabama! Which also means tornado season is on it's way... Pray for us!!!
I had an exchange with Sister Ward this week! She is amazing. We went store contacting and accidentally bought dresses, and then got some ice cream for lunch.😂 But seriously this girl is an amazing teacher and she cares so deeply about every person she comes in contact with! I always forget she has only been out just over 2 transfers.
This week I got sick so we were in a lot! It's always annoying getting sick on the mission because there is absolutely nothing to do. You can't turn on netflix, you just sit there. Luckily we had the Testaments to watch hahaha. And the essentials (Dr Pepper and chap stick).
We still haven't heard much from Diana this week but we have a set appointment with her on Wednesday! Hopefully we can figure out what's going on with her. Zekayla did not show up for the Primary Program yesterday, but when we saw her practicing last week her part was: " I am excited to get baptized because I know I will be making a promise to Heavenly Father." She is so sweet.
Sorry for the short email but this week was pretty slow! We did have our first District Meeting of the transfer so that's always fun. (: 
There's this quote that was left on my bathroom wall by Sister Patten when she served here. It says: "Small improvements daily will outshine the labors of Hercules". I have found that to be so true on my mission! As I focus on becoming a little better each day, I look back and realize how far I've come from the person I was. I'm so grateful for the amount of change that has happened in me through my Savior!
This coming week will be super busy for us with 2 exchanges and the ward "Trunk or Treat" party this Saturday! I love Halloween (((: Hope that y'all have a great week!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, October 17, 2016

Megan's Letter 10/17/16

I got another Florence visitor this week! I love Katelyn so much! She would go out with Sister Patten and I every single week. In her own words: "I basically trained you."
So here's a couple pics of me and my second trainer.😂

I got to go on exchanges with Sister Sheffield again this week! I still adore her. It's crazy because she has grown so much and become such a strong missionary since I last went on exchanges with her a few months back! Also we are both still addicted to Dr Pepper and we call each other when we can't remember lyrics to Mayday Parade songs. It's a pretty good friendship.❤
I also had the chance to get to know Sister Glance better this week on an exchange! A little late because she is heading home this week. )': She is such a great example to me of a diligent missionary who spent her entire time here loving the people like the Savior would. We had a lesson with this cute Christian couple who claim they aren't interested in reading from the Book of Mormon. We ended up reading in Luke 22 about the Atonement, and comparing it to Alma 7! It was cool to see their hearts soften. (:
This week we had a lesson with Kylie at her Grandma's house! We had the Weatherly Sisters come with since Sister Hintze can relate to some of the trials Kylie has been through. We also helped her paint her room this week. We love her so much!
We went out to dinner with our two cute young women friends on Saturday. We love them so much!
We have some sad news. Diana was suppose to get baptized this Saturday, but has been dodging our texts, calls, and appointments. She hasn't been to church the last two weeks. We are so so sad. Please keep her in your prayers and pray we can know how to help her!
We got to teach the Preach My Gospel class for the youth last night. It was bitter sweet because an Elder in our ward just lost his dad yesterday morning, and our lesson was on the Plan of Salvation. I'm so grateful for the knowledge we have that we can be with our families for eternity.
In the most recent General Conference, President Uchtdorf said:
 "That is why we are here on this beautiful planet earth—because God offered us the opportunity, and we chose to accept it. Our mortal life, however, is only temporary and will end with the death of our physical body. But the essence of who you and I are will not be destroyed. Our spirits will continue living and await the Resurrection—a free gift to all by our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. At the Resurrection, our spirits and bodies will be reunited, free from pain and physical imperfections."
I love the great Plan of Happiness that God has given us, and I love sharing that good news with the people here in Alabama. I love y'all so much and I hope you have a great week!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, October 10, 2016

Megan's Letter 10/10/16

This week I went to Athens, AL on exchange with Sister Cushing! We had a blast. I even held a member's baby goat, and we went hammocking on the apartment deck. (:

Elder Dyches from the quorum of the Seventy came and visited our mission! We had a special MLC where he trained on agency, and how we can be better agents. The next day we had a Zone Conference with half the mission!

LINDSEY CAME TO VISIT ME. I cannot begin to tell y'all how much this girl means to me. (: Regan also came later that night! It's so nice to be close to home (Florence).

Right now we have the privilege to be teaching Zekayla! She is 9 years old and her mom is completely inactive, but her 18 year old brother and her get picked up by members for church every week. They have really hard living conditions. It's humbling to be able to work with her. She is so smart too! She read the first vision without even stumbling yesterday. Most of our adult investigators struggle with that one!

When Sister Dyches spoke on Thursday she read something that really stuck out to me! The definition of repentance from the Bible dictionary states: 
"The Greek word of which this is the translation denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world. Since we are born into conditions of mortality, repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God, and a renunciation of sin to which we are naturally inclined.... Repentance is not optional for salvation; it is a commandment of God."

I am so grateful for the opportunity to repent given to us by our loving Savior. Some of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon are Alma 7:11-12.
" 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

I know the Savior suffered for each and every one of our sins so that we may be cleansed and return to live with Him! I am grateful for the knowledge that He also suffered for our infirmities so that we may be comforted. I feel so lucky to be able to wear Christ's name on my chest each day as I serve Him here. 

I hope y'all have a great week!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, October 3, 2016

Megan's Letter 10/3/16

Here's a couple pictures from my exchange with Sister Anderson (:

And then a blitz with cute Sister Ward in Decatur!(:

We spent some time with Kylie again this week! She has been working on reading the Book of Mormon every day. It's awesome to watch her slowly gain more interest in the stories and relate them to her own life (:

GUYS. This is Diana. She is one of the greatest miracles I've seen my whole mission! Her neighbor invited her to come to church and so far she has been 3 times! She absolutely loves it. We finally got to meet with her at her home week. She is the most prepared person for the gospel that I've ever met. She is planning to be baptized on October 15th and hopes that her husband and 9 year old grandson will join her in the font! We have an appointment with all three of them on Wednesday. What an incredible blessing to know her and have the opportunity to teach her!

Okay General Conference was AMAZING. Seriously Conference feels like Christmas on the mission! I have a new passion for it that I never had back home (sorry Dad). My very favorite talk was by Robert D. Hales. I loved the concept that if we love the Savior more, we truly will suffer less! I have had great examples in my life who have taught me that joy can be found through any trial.

Another favorite of mine was David A. Bednar's in the Sunday afternoon session! He brought to light the Joseph Smith translations from the verse that says "I never knew you" to "you never knew me". That brought so much comfort to me to realize that no matter how far we stray from the Savior, He will always know us perfectly. It also helped me want to know the Savior more, rather than just know about Him.

I'm so grateful for a living Prophet and  Apostles. When you hear them speak, you can't deny the authority from God in their words. I love that we have the church on the earth just as Christ set up when He was here! I love y'all and I hope you spend some time reading over the conference talks we were uplifted by this past weekend. I promise that you will find more joy as you apply the counsel to your every day lives! Have a great week y'all. (:

-Sister Merrill 

PS we went to the N.A.S.A. Space and Rocket Center today and had a blast!!