To correspond with Elder Merrill you can email him at he may not be able to email you back but he can write to you and he loves the letters.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Week 8

May 20, 2013


Dear Family,

Another interesting but good week has gone by here in the south of Scotland.  It was good to see you all over skype last week, the technology that allows us to do this is such a blessing.  I miss you all and I think about you every day.  As I’ve been so far from home, and witnessed such a new and different culture here in Stranraer, I’ve realized some incredible blessings that I have had in my life and very literally overlooked.  The blessing of being raised in a family strong in the faith, actively engaged in the kingdom of God here on earth is a blessing of comfort and I only now know how lucky I am.  It’s a blessing to know that back home, my parents are trying their best to stay on the straight and narrow path, magnifying their callings and doing 'well their part'.  So few in this part of the world experience the blessing of having a faithful and righteous family, let alone, a family back home who prays for them each day.  Over the past week I’ve met many individuals and I’ve seen many people who have broken, unsupportive families who bring them down.  In seeing this, it’s hard to imagine that their family is fulfilling the purpose God has intended for them, which is order, structure and love.  I can’t thank you enough for raising me the way you did, and I guess what really counted was the time you all spent with me.  I love you all. 

It saddens me to know how much of a better brother I could have been, all the time I could have spent with Evan and Sydnee and didn’t is something I think about quite a bit.  So, I’m sorry to both of you.  I love you both and we can have some real good times together when I get back.  I guess I got caught up in things that weren’t really important, and it was definitely a mistake I’m aware of now.  I look up to you both in different ways and I’ll see you in no time.  Keep being great people and love each other.

We have two really solid investigators and 4 others who are very good and will have baptismal dates soon.  John and Alister both have baptismal dates in June and are very enthusiastic.  They both smoke so that is a pretty major obstacle, but were working towards it and their beginning the very difficult journey of quitting.  We are doing all we can to keep their spirits up, but only God can give them the strength they need, and only they can ask for the strength to overcome this obstacle.  And only by asking in faith will they receive that strength. 

In a similar way, we need to ask for the things we desire/need in life, through prayer.  Sometimes, God has great blessings wishes to pour upon us, but he waits, he waits for us to ask in great prayer for the good and righteous things we desire.  If we do this, he will bless us.  He wants to bless us.  He promises us if we do what he asks that we will receive blessings that we have not room enough to receive.  I love you all and hope you’re doing well. 

How’s church?  What’s new? Fill me in; let me know what’s going on with my country. Thanks again, for being a great family.  And send pictures.

Elder Merrill


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