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, August 25, 2013

McCraigs Tower in Oban
Hey Dad,
First of all, what crazy story, how weird it would be to experience that sort of thing. Nephi 4:6 is one of my favorite, if not my favorite scriptures.   We are led by the spirit all the time, daily, and sometimes we don't even know it.  We experienced a miracle this week.  It proved to us that God is preparing people here in Oban for us to teach.  We walked into Tesco grocery store, I believe it was last Wednesday, and while walking down an aisle, a woman reached out and touched my arm.  I turned and said hello.  She seemed extremely excited, told us she had been looking for us and asked for a Book of Mormon.  Elder Urbieta gave her one, and we talked for a minute, told her when church was and she said she would come.  I felt like I should invite her to be baptized, so right there in the middle of a Tesco store, she committed herself to baptism on the 31 of August.  Her name is Tracey and she loved church.  She's so happy and her smile is so contagious, I believe she is 38.  She is a lovely woman.

Thanks for everything you do for me, I miss you and can’t wait to see you in 18.5 months.  Wow time flies. Oban is beautiful, next Monday were hiking into the Lost Valley in Glencoe with a Recent Convert.  Looking forward to that, if you look through the Scotland picture book we have, it’s bound to be full of photos of my area.  Anyways,  love you dad, have a great week and God Bless.

Elder Merrill

Hello Mum,
Good morning, how are you? I miss you and Dad dearly, and I think about you all often.  I feel your prayers and want you to know your support and love is what got me here, and what keeps me here.   I have such a great family, it’s the best blessing I could have asked for. 

It is strange not having a temple nearby, I could very well never see a temple in Britain. Oh well, I do get temple hungry sometimes, especially when we talk about it.  I’m so happy you and Dad go often and I can’t wait to go again. 

In church yesterday we had an amazing lesson with our new investigator who is set for a date on the 31 of August (for the story on this, read dad's email).  It was so strong and so touching, one of the best first discussions I’ve ever been a part of in my mission. 

A great story to tell happened on the street last night, we stopped a woman who was very kind and we spoke about faith and God for a couple of minutes.  At the end of the discussion, I asked her if we could pray with her and for her.  She agreed, and I gave a prayer.   It was a very simple prayer, but when I finished and looked up at her she was crying and told us no one had ever prayed for her like that before.  It was a great experience to touch someone  we had just met off the street with the spirit.  Thanks for the info on Angela, she's great and I miss her as well as everyone from my old area.  I forgot to tell you last week, but before I left, a non member family I had come very close to through teaching and simple visits had wished me farewell and actually bought me some good uplifting Christian music.  It was a great gift, and I felt fulfilled building bridges and relationships with such great people, the name of this family is the Jordans, from Stranraer. 

Love you Mum, have a good week.

Elder Merrill

Now in the past I’ve had plenty of Haggis and Black Pudding, of which Haggis I love and Black Pudding is mostly too salty.  The other day an investigator named Andrew fed us lunch, and we had amazing sausage and chips, along with great haggis, and the best black pudding I’ve ever tasted.  It’s called Stornoway Black Pudding, and it was delicious.  That's my food log for the week.  oh and the fish and chips here are top notch.

Elder Merrill

PS. We are going hiking near the Connel bridge today, then it is back to work till the work is done.  thanks, and love ya,
Your son


Sunset in Stranraer

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dear Family,

Good morning from the Highlands.  Oban is incredible, and so beautiful.  It is the most beautiful wee town in the world.  It’s amazing up here.  This is the Scotland I dreamed of coming to before my mission.  You will see castles on every corner, standing stone circles everywhere and island after island.  My zone leader advised me to buy a satellite navigator, so I did so, and I’m glad  because navigating here would be so difficult.  Even with the guidance of satellites, we still managed to take an accidental detour, but after a while, we were grateful we did.  On the way to Oban from Glasgow, which is now my Zone headquarters, we passed up into the Highlands, and the whole scenery changed.  Beautiful rolling hills turned into towering mountains and mighty glens.  This place is like nothing else on the Earth.  We went through Glencoe, Rannoch Moor, and along Lochs of Leven, Linnhe, and many more.  This is God's country.  Oban itself is a tiny seaside town, with tons of yachts, islands and wildlife about.  The isle of Kerrera is right off the bay, and it is a pretty cool view.  My companion is Elder Stuart Urbieta.  He is from Ohio and no he doesn’t speak spanish or even have an accent.  He is a boxer and fitness fellow, as well as a future Marine.  And yes, we get along just great.  We will help each other grow as we work on the task at hand in Oban.  The Branch here is the smallest in the UK, with 8 or 9 at church on a good day.  We meet around a table in a high school, but although we are small, church lasted almost 4 hours comfortably, due to how enthusiastic everybody is about the lesson, it just went on and on and it was great.  We do lots and lots of finding, including talking with people on the street and chapping.  Its hard work, but whitewashing always is.  Missionaries haven’t been in the Highlands for 15 years, (mom ignore this next part and have dad read it to himself ha-ha).  I heard from a member, Missionaries were taken out back then because of violence against them and their flat being raided.  Great stuff ha-ha but we are not worried in the slightest, so don’t fret.  Could just be a story, but I wouldn’t doubt it.  Seriously mom, don’t worry. 
I love it here, we are expecting miracles, and we’re obedient as can be so the Lord will bless us.  Tomorrow we drive down to Glasgow for Zone meeting, I’m excited for this drive but it’s over 100 miles and 2 hours.  We are as happy as can be in Oban, and are enthusiastically working to ensure the prepared are met and are invited to come unto Christ.  This is Oban’s time, and I feel so blessed to be leading such an important area.  

 I love you all and miss you every day, I’ll send some photos.  Take care and pray always. Do it!

Elder Merrill 

Oh yea, Angela should get baptized this Saturday.  Pray for her! 
Also, I met Steven (Elder Mckechnie) in Taynuilt the other day.  Great guy, really small world.
My new address is:  36B Soroba Road,  Oban, Argyll  PA34 4HY. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

You can see Ireland if you look really hard!
 Dear Family,
Good morning from Stranraer.  We got our phone call last night.  I have been reassigned to whitewash a completely new area as Senior companion.  The area is called Oban, a beautiful bay side town in the West Highlands. This is going to be a very challenging responsibility, but I anticipate the next few months with excitement.  I know only that "there are a few members there", so I’m fairly blind as of this moment.  If the Lord trusts me enough to open Oban, then I don't need to worry about my ability to accomplish what is being asked.  Nephi 3:7   Opening Stranraer gave me the experience I need to feel more confident.  Perhaps I will whitewash my whole mission. I’ll miss Stranraer and the people here greatly, but I’ve made some great connections and I’ll be back to see them before too long. 

Angela and I.

I went on exchange in Ayr on Tuesday with the new Elder Crittenden from Coleville, Utah. We taught six lessons in 6 hours.  Not bad eh?  Already 5 months have gone by since I've left home, that feels a little weird to say. 
Good to hear my friends back home still remember me, tell them all I said How ere yae?

Thanks for everything, have a great day.  I love you, thanks for writing today, I miss you all.

Elder Merrill
Stone Circle in Machars