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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Some Missions are like fishing in Colorado!

Hey mum,
I’m trying to take care of myself, it’s just so flipping cold and we are always running about outside.  Honestly, I miss Scotland and think about going back, Ireland is great but I connect with Scotland like I do with Utah.  By the way, read Isaiah 2:2 and know this, Utah translates to mean, top of the mountains.  Church is true!
I’m happy to hear Evan remembers me well; it does my heart good to think I had something of a good impression on the kids.  It’s the whole desire of my youth to have a positive influence on their lives, I made plenty of mistakes, I just hope their memories aren’t as good as mine when it comes to it ha-ha. 
 Remember, nothing does a child’s heart better than to see his parents praying aside the bed every night, despite arrogance and ignorance from my end, which I’m sure had you two worried, your influence and example was always there and was the SINGLE and ONLY thing, in some cases, that kept me on the right track desiring to do good.
I love you mom, thanks for everything, I hope one day I can feel as if I have paid back the kindness and sacrifice you’ve shown me, but something tells me that won’t ever come.  You’re amazing, and dad is alright too.  Have a great week, see you soon.

Elder Merrill

Ps. Evan has impressive taste in music, Elvis is Gospel Gold!


Some missions are like fly fishing in the Colorado River.  You just cast and cast and you have success.  Some missions are like deep sea fishing in Alaska with a guide that has a shotgun, you just hold the rod and go through the motions and a big fish pops up every time. This mission is like fishing for tiny crabs dug deep into the cracks in the depths of the ocean of shark and eel infested waters, and once the crabs are caught, which requires diving deep and picking them by hand, the predators come out of their holes to do all they can to drag the crabs back down.  This mission is hard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am pleased to serve here, the difficulty and challenge is a witness to me that God knows I’m tough, but wants to make me tougher.  He knows I’m rough on the edges, and wants to smooth them out.  He knows my potential and has given me a job to do, and only through fishing in the deepest and darkest waters can I become the fisher of men that he has in store for me to become.  This caliber of refining could not happen in an "easy mission", it could not happen in any other mission.  The challenges I’ve faced in this mission have carved my soul and filled the gaps necessary to take me higher.  Your example took me to this point and will continue to take me higher.  Thanks, I’m out of time but I love you and appreciate all of your support and love.
The work will change with the times, but as we know, God never changes.  He knows the hearts and minds of his children, we can only work harder and harder and hope it is enough.  I feel successful; I have changed and awakened to the reality of our eternal situation. Love you, thanks again.  Have a great week.

Elder Merrill


Dear Sydnee,

Well you’re growing up, and I’m not there to see it, thanks for updating me I hope that life is great for you and that you’re happy. My mission is going well, and is going by very fast, I’ve done a lot of good and hard things and have dealt with many problems and had many light days, and many dark days.  The dark days have only driven me to come closer to my God and the best way to do that is to pray always! If we pray for every reason every day, we can surely live in this world, without being of the world. This is what God wants for us while we are here, remember, we are just passing through this life.  I love you Syd, keep making great choices, it does my heart more good than you could ever imagine to know my baby sister is accepting the outstretched hand of Jesus Christ that offers love and peace above all things, and salvation.   

Love you,

Elder Merrill



Monday, November 18, 2013

Top of the Mornin to you Lad!

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

Well I miss you and I love you, it’s been a harder week and we lost all of our investigators early in the week so our efforts are now focused on building a teaching pool up again. Which means tracting and street contacting, the least effective use of time in the world. But oh well. The ward here is very supportive and there were nearly 150 people at church last week.

 So last Thursday, my companion and I were chapping the door of a potential investigator in Lucan, a man answered the door, who wasn’t the person we were looking for, but we began teaching him anyway. After a couple minutes, it was clear that he wasn’t interested, so I asked him if there was anyone he knew who would be interested that we could go by, he began to say no to that as well, but then he straight up fell backward, passing out and collapsing on the floor. As he hit the ground, I said "oh dear he's narcoleptic". We waited for a sec, and then he quickly stood back up, and began talking to us like nothing happened. I asked him if he was okay and he said he was tired and closed the door. Me and my comp burst out in laughter as we walked away, we still have no idea what happened. We joked that he was struck down by the spirit because he denied us. Could be....

Interesting week, it was very cold and I got sick for the first time in my mission, with a strong cold and chest pain, I stayed out and worked anyway and I’m pretty much better now. The cold soft gel pills you gave me saved me at night though.

I love being a missionary, and especially getting lots of time to study the scriptures and feel the spirit, I love the scriptures and as I seek revelation or confirmation concerning the teachings in them I’ve become very familiar with the doctrine of the church. I think I’ve lost my patriarchal blessing, I can’t find it. That worries me, but my goal at this time is to build a relationship with Jesus Christ, as is told to me in my blessing, so I could use the blessing for direction. I’ll keep looking; I feel the sprit work through me every day which is really what keeps me from feeling down when we are having little success at this time.

Have a great week, thanks for everything I miss you loads, Happy Thanksgiving whenever it is this month,

PS… today, a man said “Top of the mornin lad” to me, it was a dream come true.

Elder Merrill

Nov 11, 2013

Hey Family,
Ireland is colder than the other side of the pillow but it’s great.  I have found that this mission is pretty dangerous, as a couple of missionaries have been mugged in the last few weeks.  As long as we are careful at night and stay in the areas that are lit we will be good.

We have gotten loads done this week and next week is very promising and we already are rocking 2 appointments virtually every day of the week. It’s a very hard area, but I am doing my best to solve the issues that concern the area and trying to take a different approach than in the past, by the spirit of course.  I am doing a lesson at the District Meeting in a couple weeks on Recognizing and following the spirit. This week I am doing a lesson on the Book of Mormon and its application into our work, specifically in finding.  I enjoy doing district training; it gives me a chance to influence a good size of area in Dublin.  We have reactivated 4 people from less activity in the church since ive been here, so things are moving along and work is getting done.

I love Ireland and though it is great place, I just wish I had a car here, we waste so much time walking and bussing around, hours and hours a day spent walking down empty parks. We try and be effective by talking with people but there is either no one there or they aren’t interested.  There have been a couple good opportunities to teach on the trams or busses and we have passed out all the books of mormon that we had last week, which is nearly a dozen.  I am working hard, loving life. Weak, but fearless.  The socialist work unions here are thriving. You can’t walk down the street without smelling the Marxism seeping in through the cracks in the concrete, radiating from the ideologies of captivity, taking control over the hearts of many men through temptation and debt, it makes it easy to understand why it can be so hard to spread light where the darkness is so thick.  Difficult, but not impossible. No doubt, right?

Love you all!

Elder Merrill

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 4, 2013 I am in Ireland!

Hello Family,

 How’s your week been?  It’s been a great week in Ireland.  It’s been a hectic one, but it’s all coming together.  First of all, getting here from the highlands was crazy, and since we got here there have been little confusions about my district and some of the missionaries. We got here by a series of busses and a boat.  I drove from Oban to Glasgow, bussed to Stranraer, took a ferry to Belfast, bussed to Dublin, and then bussed to Clondalkin.  It was chaotic and crazy but we made it.

Dublin is a beautiful city, and everything here is so different from everything else I’ve seen my whole mission.  I’ve never been around other missionaries, and now I live in a four man flat with three other guys who I get along very well with.  We are like brothers. My new comp is Elder Austin from Phoenix, AZ.  He's 6,4 and plays baseball at Southern Virginia U.  We are sharing the flat with another companionship. Elder Lesuma and Elder Johnson.  We are all getting along great and are honestly like brothers, it’s actually really interesting it’s like living with a bunch of giants.   I’m the smallest guy here.  We are 6,2 to 6,6 and I’m the lightest at 180lbs.  The money system here is funny, the Euro is the currency and it’s weird because I’m used to the pound.  Oh well.  Ireland is great, much flatter than Scotland and so far colder and wetter, or maybe it’s just that I don’t have a car any more.  It does suck not having a car ha-ha oh well.  Every one besides elder Austin is from Utah.

 I can feel the legitimacy of my calling as people ask me tough questions, or when I find myself in a tough situation and the spirit guides me through the whole thing.  I feel confident in my ability to do anything as long as the spirit is with me.  It’s a great confidence to have and I wouldn’t trade what I know for the world. 

The stories of missionaries getting kidnapped is crazy.  A missionary in my zone got mugged last week.  Although beautiful, Ireland is a dangerous area.  I’m constantly aware and watching our backs.  It can sometimes be difficult, but I think as long as I pay attention to my conscious (the light of Christ) I will be okay.  The accent is fantastic, some people talk so fast that even I have hard time to understand it.  I’m working hard and loving life, thanks for your wisdom and example.  I’m proud to be your son.  I’m running short on time today, and I have to plan a last minute district meeting for tomorrow, it’s what I get when I put it off.  I’m doing it on Christ like Attributes and how faith affects our obedience and how obedience affects our blessings (DC 130;21,22)

The ward is huge and I’m excited to reap the benefits of a supportive area.  Dublin is a beautiful city, very European.  I’m happy as can be, and busy as can be, and cold as can be.  But I’m okay. 
Love you all, thanks for writing, have a great week and just know I love you.
Your son,

Elder Merrill