Monday, February 27, 2017

Megan's Letter 2/27/17

This week I said goodbye to Sister Tunuufi and hello to Sister Cullimore! I was sad to see "T" go, but I know that Mississippi needs her. On the other hand Sister Cullimore is so much fun! We get along great. It's going to be a good transfer. (:

Sister Benioni and Sister Moline finished their missions this week! I look up to them both so much and I have learned so much from them.

We've still been working with Stephen this week! I think we saw him 3 times. He is progressing a lot, but he takes a little more time than most people to understand things. At the end of one of our lessons he tried to pray to "Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and all the prophets.." We had to stop him and explain that we only pray to Heavenly Father! He wasn't able to make it to church yesterday because he wasn't feeling well, but we will see him later this week.

Shane is progressing.... kind of. Some days he is great! He does so well in lessons. Other days he isn't even home when we show up for our appointment. Also, he didn't come to church yesterday and hasn't responded to texts or calls. He is very sincere but I think the lifestyle changes can be intimidating.

Shawn is still getting ready for baptism this coming month! He wants his uncle Joe to baptize him, but his uncle Joe isn't active! So we are working on that. This week we taught Shawn and his little brother, Kevin, about Tithing and the Sabbath day. We talked about things we should and shouldn't do on the Sundays. It got me thinking about some of the things I will do differently when I get home to keep the Sabbath day holy.

This week for District Meeting I was asked to give a training on Diligence. This has been something I've been working on my whole mission! I remember at my halfway mark I read this scripture during my studies:

Alma 38:10

"And now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things."

It got me thinking about what diligence really means. So many missionaries think it means you have to work without stopping, and basically go till you drop! I view diligence a little differently. In the words of my trainer, Sister Patten:

"Sometimes, when we fall short (which is so often) diligence is just the effort taken to get up and try again the next day. It is important for missionaries [and everyone for that matter] not to view diligence as this unattainable ability to work hard without stopping or messing up. Our real ability to exhibit diligence is manifested when we DO mess up-- because when that happens, we can either call it quits or decide to try to do better. To me, the choice to try again, and to keep trying to be more like the Savior, is what diligence means."

I have come to find on my mission that diligence does not mean perfection. I will always fall short, but I am diligent because I will never give up. I hope all y'all choose to be a little more diligent in everything you do! Remember the Savior is there to pick you up each time you fall. Have a great week! I love y'all. (: 

-Sister Merrill

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Megan's Letter 2/21/17

Hey y'all! Sorry P-day was changed to today because of the holiday yesterday!

We had a pretty good week here in Alabama!(:

Happy late Valentine's Day!! We had Zone Training so we got to celebrate together.

​It was also Jill's birthday! So I made her a painting because we owe her big time for how often she goes out with us.

We may also be feeding this cat.. (sorry dad) Yes it is in our apartment in this picture, NO it does not live with us.. But we wish it could!

​In other news we had a miracle this week! We were at the church teaching our favorite 11 year old, Shawn, when we heard the church phone ring. I went and picked it up! The voice said "Hi my name is Stephen. I read about John Smith and I want to be baptized!" or something to that effect. So we got his address and met with him just an hour later. Turns out he is super sincere! He studied with the Elders about a year ago (thus the John Smith mix up) and said he is now ready to be baptized. He came to church on Sunday too! He is schizophrenic but he takes his medicine. We love Stephen!

We also ran into Maurice, who we found and baptized here over a year ago! Haha oh man, this guy. He struggles but I love him. We are going to try to get him back in church, and hopefully our ward employment specialist is going to help him find a job!

Sister Tunuufi and I both spoke at church on Sunday! I was able to speak on spiritual strengthening and came up with just a few ways we can strengthen ourselves every day. One of those ways is through the scriptures! Robert D. Hales has said:

“For when we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline.” 

I have found so much strength and comfort in the scriptures. They truly are our spiritual lifeline! I'm so grateful for what they teach me every day. I encourage everyone to pick up and read their scriptures for at least 5 minutes every day! I promise you will notice a difference in the way you feel.

I will be losing Sister Tunuufi to Mississippi this week. ): I will miss her, but it will be great to get to know Sister Cullimore!

Have a great week y'all <3

-Sister Merrill

Monday, February 13, 2017

Megan's Letter 2/13/17

Hey y'all! We have had a little bit of an eventful week here, with not that much missionary work! It turns out that Sister Tunuufi needed to get her wisdom teeth out. So we came down to Birmingham and she got them cut right out at UAB dentistry. Little miracle-- Her surgeon was the only Mormon guy working there!

Then we stayed the whole weekend at the Mission Home with the Sainsbury's. They are so amazing! It was great to be able to have so much personal time spent with them. Sister Tunuufi is recovering well and we are heading back to Florence today!
 ​Also I went on an exchange yesterday and Saturday with Sister Trepanier because her companion was sick! So we swapped. We caught a toad so I could take a picture for Brynn. (:

 ​Then this morning we went and walked around Star Lake with the Sainsbury's! It was an interesting week for sure but we had a lot of fun.

This week I've been thinking a lot about what brings us true joy! One of my favorite scriptures gives us a pretty clear answer. Mosiah 2:41 says:

 "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

The truth is, that no matter what we are going through we can find happiness and lasting joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ! We are promised that, so long as we are willing to keep the commandments. I love this gospel and I am so happy because of it! Hope everyone has a good week. I love y'all!

-Sister Merrill

Monday, February 6, 2017

Megan's Letter 2/6/17

Hey y'all! This week was good and busy- just the way we like it!

Last week my backpack broke, so we went to the mall to get a new one! We found one in PayLess and we struck up a conversation with the cashier. Her name is Ashley and we have had 3 lessons with her since then! What a miracle. I'm so glad my bag broke. (:

We have been working with an 11 year old named Shawn! His grandparents are members and they bring him to church every week. He expressed to them his desire to be baptized and we have been teaching him ever since! He always asks the best questions in our lessons. Ignore their faces in this picture.... I promise they like us!!!

Zone Conference was on Tuesday! We had to pull over on some random road in Mississippi when we saw this sign. (:

Yesterday in Relief Society we had a lesson on Optimism! It got me thinking about an article I read in the January ensign about President Hinckley. I loved this quote by him:

“I have seen a good deal of this earth. … I have been in areas where war rages and hate smolders in the hearts of people. I have seen the appalling poverty that hovers over many lands. … I have watched with alarm the crumbling morals of our society.

And yet I am an optimist. I have a simple and solemn faith that right will triumph and that truth will prevail.”

I am so grateful for the choice we have to be positive! I'm not always perfect at it, but I am trying my best to be an optimist too. (: Have a great week!!

-Sister Merrill