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.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Beautiful Day in Galloway Scotland!

July 22, 2013
Good morning Utah.  It’s a great day in Galloway, the sun is shining and it’s P-day. 
Lighthouse in Galloway (Southern Tip of Scotland)
Moves call is the 3rd of August and I’ll probably get moved from Stranraer.  I’m ready to move, I feel that I’ve done my part here.  I will miss everyone obviously but if I stay any longer I will feel like I’ve outstayed my prime, if that makes sense.  

Golfing in Scotland on Pday!
(Kurt works with a  man that had a nightmare about Tanner getting in a bad fight.  He couldn’t sleep that night…. He isn’t a member but Kurt reassured him he is okay!  This reply came from Tanner a couple of days later.)
Carlos's dream made me laugh.  But that's kind of weird, I’ll stay alert.  This Sunday could have been bad, we have an excommunicated member who lives here and torments our less actives and investigators, former IRA.  He was threatening members and Angela that he was going to show up at church this last Sunday and call everyone out and yell and rant.  So when I was told this, I thought something could break out, I just told the members not to worry because as long as I was there he wasn't getting past the front door.  But, he never showed.   I haven't been in any quarrels or fights.  I love Carlos, tell him I’m okay, and to take care.  It’s been a good and interesting weekAngela came to church, and loved it again. She’s basically a member now, which is really good to see.  Hopefully the branch will always remember me for bringing someone into the church, that's all I can ask.  She has been approached by an angry excommunicated member 3 times last week, bashing her, me and the church.  He is starting his own church and is trying to get people to come to it, so because I’m bringing people back to the LDS faith, I’m a problem for him.  He's threatened my people and my church and even me indirectly but he’s not a real concern to me.  Just a dog with a big bark.  Even though this guy told Angela 3 times bad things about the church (for instance that we don't like her, we want her money, baptism is a 3 minute immersion, and then a whole other bunch of cursing and carrying on) she knows none of its true and that the church is true.  He tried to tell her I was bashing her behind her back, she said to him that she knew me and I would never do that, and told him to leave.  He departed with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Ha-ha he’s Satan. 

I’m so jealous of you and Evans adventures, that sounds like a blast.  The biking experience sounds killer.  Reminds me of several times when I’ve run into situations that were too difficult for my capabilities, but no way out.  Those are the times where you learn your limits, I’m glad you’re still alive. Hooyah.

Dad, your lesson in high priest group sounds fantastic, I gave a lesson this last Sunday in priesthood, called: With God, all things are possible.  It sounds a lot like your lesson, it went very well, we had a strong spirit there and afterwards the branch president came up to me and told me I was a great teacher.  Thanks President Mckechnie.  So that was good, after that I taught Angela about the Gospel of Christ and the repentance process.  That was also great and spiritual.  Altogether it was a great day.  After church, we drove to new Luce to visit a less active, and then on to Glenluce then Castle Kennedy, all wee villages off Stranraer.

Pray always. I love you all!
Elder Merrill

Newton Stewart Church

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Companion

Hey Family,

Elder Park and I are getting along great.  He's a funny, tall guy from West Jordan.  Likes basketball, and he has lost almost 50 pounds since he has been on his mission.  He's great to work with and teach with, so that is all good. Your prayers are felt, so thank you very much, you are in my prayers.  He has been on his mission for 15 months, has served in Inverness, Edinburgh, Livingston and Morningside (both by Edinburgh).  So he has now seen a lot of Scotland.  Cool news!  This next moves, there opening up several new areas, president told me they’re opening the Orkney islands, the outer Hebrides, and even the Shetland islands, way way up by the Netherlands.  Maybe I’ll go there... that would be great. 

I hear things here and there about tennis and golf, but not enough to really know what’s going on, so thanks for the update.  It really is an unreal place to live in, so beautiful and occasionally mind blowing scenery.   I love it.  Evan is just full of talents; it doesn’t surprise me that he's a good golfer. The kids got game.  Good to hear that Austin is now a zone leader!  It tells me he's hardworking and obedient.  Good for him. 

The work here in Stranraer is going very well! Just this last Sunday, Angela came to church for the third time, loved it, and expressed a desire to start paying tithing even though she isn’t a member yet.  She has given up alcohol, tea, coffee, and hasn’t smoked a cigarette since Friday!  How amazing is she?  It’s been amazing to see her through her journey to become a follower of Christ.  I was able to have the blessing of finding her, teaching her everything, and if I’m lucky baptizing her.  She is ready for baptism, but is living with her fiancé.  I’m hoping and praying things will work out so she can be baptized very soon, but as things appear now, it will be around November(because of legal issues, she cannot be married sooner, so either wait, or have her fiancé move out. I vote the latter option) long after I’ve left Stranraer.  She is so willing to sacrifice the world, give up her old ways, and is so prepared that I cannot even take credit for teaching her.  Maybe you guys can email her – it’s up to you.

I love Angela and the people of Stranraer with all my heart and I know I was sent here to find and teach Angela, and she knows it too.  I told her about the section of my patriarchal blessing, where it describes my mission, and how I will find the people I was sent to find.  I told her I believe she is one of those people.  It was a very spiritual lesson that was a blessing to be a part of. 

I miss our long drives, when we could talk and laugh and listen to outdated music.  Have a great week.  Thank you for everything.
Elder Merrill

I love to look at the pictures of you in my wee book, I have to fight some of my missionary friends to keep them, but they’re great.  Your smile is so contagious.  Thanks for being such a good influence for good to me.  The good example of a righteous young woman is more powerful and effective than most everything else.  So thanks, your Brothers proud.

I love you.
Elder Merrill

Evan my favorite little man,
I love you, and hope everything is going fantastic in your life.  You’re a great example to your friends, remember that everyone is always looking up to you, I probably will too when I’m home. How tall are you?   I love you and miss you.  Keep up the good work.  Like a boss. I think about you a lot Evan; you’ll be a great missionary.  Be good to mum and dad.   

Love ya.

Elder Merrill
The Toblerones are huge here!



July 8, 2013

Dear Family,

Elder Park and I showed up to the Coronation Day Center, where we have church, early at about 10am.  When we got there, Bro Mcrobb welcomed us then told us we were both speaking in sacrament.  So we had a couple investigators, less actives, a gospel principles lesson to cover, and now between me and my comp we had to take up the entire speakers section of sacrament meeting.  I can honestly say I gave a good talk about the Restoration, Faith, and the Holy Ghost.  It was a great spiritual few minutes.  Elder Parks talk was excellent and well done for the little preparation time that we had.  A mission is an interesting thing.

 This branch and the people here have really become my home and I feel a part of a big family here, so it’s all great and I love it in Stranraer.

Got some interesting news.  We are moving out of our flat.  We are currently looking for a new place to live in Stranraer.  Our mission president and his wife deemed our flat uninhabitable due to dampness, beetle infestations and drunken and suicidal neighbors.   So just await the new address, not sure how long this move is going to take or how much longer I’m going to be in the current flat.  Most likely another few days in this place, and another week or more till we are in a new place. I’ll let y'all know.  

Have a great week I love all of you very much, I miss and think of you all the time.  ~The picture book of our family that you gave me in my birthday package is a huge blessing and I look at it and reflect on it daily.  Give the kids a hug for me.  I love you!

Elder Merrill
My Zone

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Preach my Gospel

             "My preach my gospel.  Slayed.  I squeeze water out of this thing."

**This makes us so happy to see how much he is enjoying learning about sharing the Gospel.

Jun 30, 2013

Dear Family,

I’m doing very well, and as you know from my emails the work is keeping me very busy.
Moves week was very interesting.  Me and E Tinsley traveled up to  Ayr on the Tuesday and on Wednesday morning he left for Edinburgh.  Around 9:00am I took Elder Johnson to the bus station to begin his trip down to Glendalkin in Dublin.  After he left,  and we barely caught his bus, I was alone!  Don’t worry, the Zone leaders had previously informed me that this was to be the case.  From there I drove to the Ayr flat alone, and stayed there for awhile until Elder Park showed up.  We then drove home.  Elder Park can’t drive so I’m the DD.  Thanks for the package.  The contents were just what I wanted.  Several folk have brought up the Trewartha’s.  It was very nice of them to help us out with the package.  The chicken in a biscuit didn’t last long.  I’ve gained one stone. Whatever!

My diet and exercise here stinks.  It’s just very difficult to be good.  Needless I don’t feel too healthy, at least not like I was before.  It’s the huge lack of exercise and also we have a car.  To every blessing, a curse.  I love you all.  Have a great week.  Thanks for being a great family.  I miss you guys and I’ll speak with you soon enough!

Elder Merrill

Try cooking a Samoan:
Top ramen noodles
2 eggs
White bread
Delicious!  We eat these a lot.  I make a Killer Samoan!

July 1, 2013

The Chapel in Stranraer

  Dear Family,
Finally, P-Day. The hottest it’s been while I’ve been in Stranraer is around 71 F and I was burning up.  In Cork, Ireland last week it was around 85, which is bliming hot for these islands. This last week has had a lot of rain, but from what I’ve heard this next week should be fairly dry and warm.  I think because I’ve adapted to the climate here, Utah weather would probably kill me.   Everyone here talks about Utah as a vacation area and those who have been loved it.  My appreciation for where we live has definitely grown since I’ve left.   I’ve been out just over 3 months, seems like a long time but it’s gone by fast.  Some days are longer than others. My new comp is Elder Park; he's a nice 6 foot 4 guy from West Jordan, UT.  Fairly mellow kid and we get along great. All he’s been able to talk about since he got here is how small and old the flat is, it really is crap ha-ha but I don’t mind it, we aren’t ever in it anyways.  He came from Edinburgh, and he has served in Inverness, and all the way up in the Isle of Skye.  Lucky.

We had a very solid investigator at church yesterday, and after talking with some members for a while she expressed desire to be baptized in the sea.  Her name is Angela McCleary and we have been teaching her for around 4 weeks. She likes me a lot and calls me her dude.  She wants me to baptize her; we have a great relationship. She is more a friend than an investigator, and get this... her maiden name is Patton.  She’s great, she’s working on giving up smoking, and yesterday when church was over she said she hadn’t had coffee or smoked that whole day. She’s a relatively heavy smoker, so this is great. She is living with her fiancé, and they’re not due to get married until November, so that’s my only concern, but she is really solid and has been fellowshipped greatly by the branch here.  She received a very strong witness one day, while we were reading from the book of Mormon.  I remember the exact words I was reading when the spirit testified to her about it, I was reading in Moroni 10:3-5, a fairly widely known and used scripture.  I had read the words, “to know if these things are not true", and right then she told me the spirit filled her heart and she knew it was true.  I invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She will hopefully be baptized on the 14 of July.  She and I will hopefully stay in touch throughout my life. 

Hope this story can enlighten your day; I’ll send a picture of Angela and me.

Were also still teaching Martin, our Czech friend.  He's doing very well, and his life is really being blessed.  He missed church yesterday, but we've ordered him a Book of Mormon and all the lesson pamphlets in Czech, and hopefully that will help him progress much better.  

I hope all is well at home and I love you all very much. Enjoy the rest of your week and I look forward to hearing from you next Monday.

Elder Merrill

Martin, our Czech friend

Jun 24, 2013

Furthest South person in all of Scotland!


My assignment for this moves is to Stranraer with an Elder Park, who’s been out 1 year 3 months.  6 more weeks here, it’s what I wanted, I love it here.  I love you and miss you.  What a blessing this job thing is huh?  Congratulations! This is a big deal; you’re just so good, I’m proud of you.  How cool is that, I’m smiling.   Every ones coming up to me saying, do you know the Trewartha’s? They were talking about you in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, everywhere.  Great people. Thanks to them for being great.  I love you so much, how great it’s been to hear about the blessings God has given us.  I may attend BYU, thanks for paying that ticket, right? Ha-ha Keep it up mom, I love you.

Elder Merrill


The Rock of the mull of Galloway