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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conference Weekend

October 7, 2013
Hello Family,

Dan and Joyce were lovely people and it was great to have visitors in the Oban twig! (Exclamation point) It was great to see some Utahans again and to hear the familiar testimony of a born-and-raised.  I’m pleased to hear they phoned you and said the nice things that I told them to tell you.  £20 pounds goes a far way when feeding false information to your parents about how good of a missionary you are ;).  Nah, they kindly offered to phone you up, I’m sure it was cool for you guys, certainly made me happy.  I’m doing my best to honor our shouline Dad; it can be challenging out here as you know, but I remember my legacy, not only that of the church but of our family, and it gives me extra strength. 
I’ve been reading a lot in Isaiah, my favorite chapters have been 5, 30, 45, and 63 or 64.  This is a Tanner Merrill original analogy, reading Isaiah is like mowing the lawn; if you want to go fast, go for it, its fine.  But you’ll just end up going right back over it 2 minutes later to pick up the bits and pieces you left behind.  So it’s taken me a bit.  But the lawn looks good. 
Conference was amazing; the prophet’s talk was really something else and inspired me and others.  And Holland's in the Sunday morning session was truly inspired and interesting, giving us a lot of deep thought and made me consider other deeper ways that I can better serve the missionaries in my District. Love conference on a mission, we watched it in Glasgow last night and we have stayed over in Knightswood with Elder Hutchings, my best friend and brother, also in my MTC group district.  Good man.  He’s moving from Nevada to Utah as well as some other new friends. 
We have unfortunately lost our real last chance for member presence, with our last active priesthood holder in our area moving to Florida for good.  It makes things tough without other priesthood but that’s a challenge, especially as district leader trying to set an example for my district with member present lessons.  Nothing we can do but try out best.  We were able to drive down to Cambeltown last week to visit some less actives who haven’t had any contact with the church for 15 years, ever since the branch down there was closed.  It takes 2.5 hours and over 100 miles to make the trip, but we are really making progress with at least one less active, whose testimony is still hanging by a thread.  We have helped him to rekindle his fire, given him a Book of Mormon, which he has picked up and began reading again, and he is going to try to make the 100 mile trip to church next Sunday.  A real miracle, but in the back of my mind, I tumble the possible opportunity to open yet another branch in Cambeltown whilst serving in Oban, it would have to be all on our own, and now that I think about it, we have plenty of other things to focus on, building up Oban will be tough enough.  

Have a great week, and stay strong. 

Elder Merrill

To his sister:
Things in Oban are kicking along, how did you like conference?  I loved it, conference as a missionary it is like Disneyland, and I love Elder Holland.  Oh hey, listen to his talk; it’s great I think you’ll love it.  Recognizing the spirit, by David A Bednar of the 12.  It helped me tremendously; I wish I had it earlier on.  Glad tennis went well, you’re a champion Syd, I admire your goodness and it seriously has a great impact on me, and I’m sure others.  You’re such a good example, and as we were told in the relief society session of conference (you bet I watched it) you were told, and I agree fully, that a virtuous woman has so much influence for good.  You have POWER! Use it! (Exclamation point!) Glad to hear life is good, be true to the faith as usual my good sister.  May God be with you till we meet again.

Elder Merrill Loves you


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