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.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 27, 2014


The address for our flat is 233D Rannoch Road, Perth PH1 2DW, UK.  But send letters and such to the mission home.

First week in Perth is good so far.  It’s rained every day, and the days have gone by very quickly. Church was interesting; we have a building first of all, which is unusual for a branch. Most of the members are over 60 years of age and they are a clever and funny bunch. Thus, it’s been a lively week, so far so good.  The branch likes me, and I them.  We share the branch with Elders Goodwin and Dickinson(English, but we don’t hold it against him). Good guys, we don’t share the flat.   The flat is nice, really nice; it’s in a not as nice area though. Can’t complain about anything except for that we walk, we have bikes, but the weather is too bad.  So we walk, everywhere, I’m considering getting us bus passes.  It’s a small town, not as small as the past few however.
Thank you for the scriptures on meekness.  Meekness is a great topic; it’s actually the topic our mission president asked us to study on this week in his weekly email.   Meekness is probably one of the hardest things for me to improve at, oh how my mind hates to be meek.   I have loads of natural tendency to be prideful, working on it.
Elder Arvig is a smart guy, good worker; he's an army artillery guy so we get along in that aspect.  We get along and I’m looking forward to working together here in Perth. 

We have one progressing investigator, Aimee, an 18 year old mother.  She is very open and kind, and will probably be baptized within the next month. She's solid!
I’m glad God answered "your prayer", I was hoping for Scotland as well.   So I’m happy.  I love you all  - Thanks again for the many pictures you sent me in the last package; it’s good to have them.  I miss you all.  Thanks for writing me each week. I’ve definitely become a very different person since I walked up that sidewalk at the MTC nearly a year ago.  Have a great week,

Elder Merrill
To his Brother:
Hey Buddy,

You’re definitely an extraordinary person. I’ve always seen you as superhuman, not just in size of body, but you’ve got a big heart and you’re a good kid. Remember, to be humble is not to be weak, humility is spiritual strength. If one is strong spiritually and physically, how blessed is he? It can hard to be humble; to be prideful is so easy, but step by step we can work on it.  

You’d make a great missionary, and be a great leader for all your companions and fellow missionaries to look up to and follow. You have great potential, Evan.  I never saw half of my potential until I was well into my mission, the Lord has his own ways of showing us our potential. Plus, missions are fun.

Hey pal, thanks for everything, I’m proud to have a brother as valiant and good as you. Plus you’re a tank. It’s nice to have a tank. I love you, have a great week

Elder Merrill


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 20, 2014


Moves call has come. I’m being reassigned to serve in the branch in Perth, Scotland! Yes I’m smiling I’m super excited to go back to Scotland.  It’s a wee branch of 20 to 30 or so, so I’ll fit in nicely.  Just where I’m comfortable and I will be back home in Scotland.  I’m excited to be back in the loop in Scotland, I’ve been waiting to return since I left it.  My new companion is Elder Arvig, heard not too much about him. But I’ll let you know next week, I transport on Tuesday.

I like the comments about the Lords ways being simple.  The lords ways are transparent, clear, and obvious.  Just like sending your kid on a mission, you know what they’re doing, and when they’ll be home and this brings you peace. He, God, probably worries about our salvation more than we do.  He sends SO MANY TOOLs to help us stay on the right path. They are simple, look at the brass snake, and be saved.  But because of the easiness of the way, and the pride of men wrought in their hearts by Satan, they die.  I recall the words of Nephi, oh Gentiles, why will ye turn from the ways of our Fathers, for they truly testified of Christ, who should come, that if they did not humble themselves before God, and endure faithful to the end, they could not inherit the Kingdom of God, why will ye die?

Because of pride, secret combinations and temptation men bind themselves in captivity. I love to be free; someone asked me last week what my favorite thing about the Gospel was. I responded, Freedom. Agency, Will and Faith bring to pass happiness and pride brings captivity, which is bondage, the opposite of happiness.

I know it, dad knows it, Moroni knew it, and you obviously know it and love it.  Thanks for the freedom, clearly you knew better than I all along the difference between false "freedom" that the world gives, and true freedom that comes from keeping God's commandments.  Thanks to you and Dad for the guidance.

I’m doing great, happy and excited for Scotland, I will miss the Elders I’ve served here with though, they are my brothers and we have come very close. I’ll keep you updated. Love you, miss you!

I’m sending letters.

Elder Merrill


January 13, 2014


It’s been another great and spiritually challenging week in the field. After some instruction given to us by our ZL's and mission president in the last zone training meeting, I’ve focused on a lot of the little aspects of obedience and  I’ve been able to see the blessing of obedience as I’ve made it a focus, I feel good and happy.

The many many concepts concerning eternal mysteries of the two churches in this world.  1nephi 14 I believe, maybe 2 Nephi 14. There are save two churches only, what a true statement!

It can be easy to stare at this massive church that is our opposition and feel intimidated because of its vast and expansive control over the world. How lost we would be without a Prophet to warn us and guide in the right way. It surprises me yet, even with saints who are aware of the prophet and his warnings, who disregard the warnings and commandments given us through their words. Many saints will cry, all is well in Zion, yet the devil has their hearts, and is carefully leading them down to the endless misery of captivity through ignorance and deceit.

You’ll never believe it, because I didn’t either... they keep me busy here, and I tend to get pretty stressed from time to time working on a million things at once. My companions actually found a pretty significant presence of grey hairs on my head.  What the flip.... I literally have grey hairs. It’s mad.

I had a great conversation with a Muslim guy last night. We tracted into a home and were let in, and the father of 4 and I spoke for quite some time about the Kuran, we will go back Wednesday to introduce the book of Mormon and the great apostasy.  The man was pretty surprised about how much I knew, should be interesting. I’ll let you know what happens.

My comp and I are doing fine, I’m doing great. Happy, stressed but happy. Moves are this week. I’ll let you know what happens, should be interesting.

I definitely feel the spirit, his promptings to me are very quiet and very subtle, and most the time they just come as thoughts in my head. But they are there, and I recognize them. You and dad always taught me to pay attention to the spirit, so thankfully I never feel alone or without guidance. Like my blessing says, pray and listen.  Pray and listen again and you will receive an answer.

Have a great week, I love you all and you’re in my mind often.

Elder Merrill


Friday, January 10, 2014

January 6, 2014

It was a decent week the work is slow but we've been having fun. I know your dying for photos, I’m dying to send some, it’s just been weird trying to send them and I haven't been able to.  I will as soon as I can.
……. and his wife came to church yesterday and enjoyed the meeting as well as Gospel Principles.  I gave the lesson on Sacrifice and how it prepares us to live in God's presence. During the lesson he asked the question, "what kind of sacrifices do I need to make to get close to God?" We had a great discussion, he is progressing but it can be difficult to teach without a Christian background.

…… is MIA, haven't been able to contact him. We are working with a guy and his family from Ghana, named ………..  Who is doing nicely, slowly moving along.  He will hopefully be praying about the Book of Mormon this week, he could use a prayer. Good guy, and if we get him we get his family.  We have already invited him to be baptized, and he said yes, but he wants to have his testimony first.

 We just started the JFS manual as well, it’s a good one, and I do plenty of lessons out of that manual, its good preparation for whatever it is I’m supposed to do when I get home.

We’re helping the Clondalkin Ward to become much more missionary minded, and the stake has come up with a goal of 2014 lessons with a member present in 2014.  So things are happening, the missionary mindset has improved greatly since I’ve arrived here.  Were just doing a lot of home visits with members, and teaching on member missionary work in church, always using prophetic quotes.  The bretheren want members to be active in missionary work.  I feel like this is a big part of my job here in Dublin.

It’s difficult to find, teach and baptize. I’m working for it. If it never happened, I wouldn’t be too bothered, if I felt like I did what I could. We shall see..... I hope I get to see at least one. I have that vision, but it’s not my will I’m working for so I’ll just keep waking up and walking out that door.  What else can we do? It’s a rough part of the world, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The Lord knew I’d be upset if he sent me somewhere easy. People like you and I need rough days and low success, it’s the challenge we crave.  Hey, like the SEALs say, the only easy day was yesterday.  That’s life, right? Hooyah.

Thanks for your confidence and for the prayers. Love you,

Elder Merrill

Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 31, 2013

Christmas was fantastic, seeing you all and speaking with you was so great.  My comps are all great, were getting along just fine.  Happy New Year! Only 15ish months left!

You and Dad looked great; it was so nice to see you. You are still my wee little family in our wee little home in our wee little town. The new guns dad showed me were cool as well ha-ha altogether a good time.  I hope you have an amazing first week this year.  I love you.  Thanks for everything you do, the package was really great, so thanks again for that. Miss ya,

Elder Merrill
PS … the temple calendar was amazing. I miss the temples, so it was a blessing

Dear baby sister,
I have received a lot of strength to deal with the many things the Lord has in store for me to face.  I want you to know that this strength comes from all of you.  The love and example and faith that you all have inspires me and drives me forward. How blessed I am to have you all.
How true James's statement is in the 5th verse of chapter 1 of his epistle, to ask of God that which we know not. God wants to tell us truths, and scarcely will those truths come in the way we expect them to come. Just listen and they will come. Ask, Listen, ask again, and listen again. Our father is a very wise man; it is truly a blessing from Heaven to have such a humble and Christ like man to lead our family. Let us show our gratitude to our Fathers by keeping God's commandments, all of them.
I’m very happy to be made aware of your Christ like attributes and your wisdom. Remember, you know the truth.  But that doesn’t matter.  It’s what you do, and how you act once you know the truth that matters.  You’re doing perfectly.  Love you.

Thanks for being you; it means more than you think.
Elder Merrill

Twas awesome to see you Christmas day buddy; it was the best present ever! I love you and I’m proud of you and your hard work.  You’re a special kid; you have the ability to influence a lot of people through your example.  Keep choosing the right and you will keep this gift your whole life. I’m glad things are going well for you and that you’re having fun. Ski hard!
Elder Merrill

How I wish I could have been there for your talk, you’ve always been a great speaker and have inspired me to work on my own ability to "wing" it. Well done on the improvisation, it needs to be done quite often, and is a skill learned in the mission field. Regrets are a part of life, and in my own experience are some things I prefer not to look upon.  Thank goodness for the Atonement. If anything, I’ve learned to think before I act, and to be wise.  Those two things are words vie heard come from your mouth many times. Also, nothing is free.  That is true as well. Someone always has to pay for something.  It’s important to be aware of the sacrifices made by others to give us our blessings such as the great blessing of liberty. The ultimate giver of freedom and liberty to mankind is the Savior, but of course many mortal men have died preserving the rights given man by the atonement.  Gods plan is for man to be free, Satan’s plan is to bind man and destroy agency.  DC123 let us waste and wear out our lives to expose and compromise Satan’s ways of darkness, which target the freedom of man.

It was fantastic to see you all on Christmas.
Anyway, thanks for all you do.  Happy New Year, see you next year.
Love you pop,
Elder Merrill

December 16, 2013


Thank you for your wonderful email. It’s warming to the soul, to know I have a good and loving sister back home. Such a blessing you are to my life, you’ll never know what that means to me.
I miss you as well Syd, yes it is crazy that I’m almost halfway home. Wild.
The mission is going well, were getting a lot done and I’m loving it.  It is however very cold and that sucks. I have 6 layers on and I am still cold and wet.

Sydnee, I can truly say that I am proud of the person that you are becoming.  You’re a good person, and are beginning to have the eternal perspective on things. As you follow the counsel of the Lord, you will become wise and happy.  Remember, Joseph Smith was uneducated, but after finding God and restoring the Gospel, was able to know all things, and became very wise. I’m so so excited to see how you progress and who you become.  I can’t wait to go to the Temple with you some day. That can be our goal, looking forward to it.

Thank you for all of your encouraging words, I know that God loves me and I can feel His love through YOU. You may not know it, but God is using you to encourage and motivate me.  So thank you. You’re amazing and I can’t wait to see you again. I’m trying hard to be obedient and diligent and to represent the Savior correctly. Your email means so much to me, thanks for putting time into it to make my day. I love you and I miss you loads! 

I can feel the Lord pushing me forward and helping me to get through the trials and challenges I face, I know He is there and is actively engaged in providing for me and my life.

Have a great week, keep loving everyone.  Your amazing sis,
Your brother,
Elder Merrill

Dear Family,
Didn’t get an Email from you guys, my parents this week, something must be amuck with the system,
But I thought I’d say thank you so much for the package. I know you put lots of effort and love into it.  And the contents were perfect; the gloves are perfect as well and are keeping me warm.  I’m still eating everything but seriously thanks, it was great to have it.  I love you guys and miss you every day.
It’s been a great week, and I don’t have much time to email today, so I think I’ll get more time during the week. I’ll send pics as well.

So Skype on Christmas day, for you guys it should be around 10-11 am, around 5 pm for me here in Ireland. I’m happy, its cold but I’m staying warm. Elder Winn is from Nephi Utah; he rides bulls and is a good man. We are working on lots of things together and always improving as missionaries. I’m excited for the next moves, should be great.

One of our investigators, ………, is an Indian man from Bangladesh, he is Hindu, but after lots of teaching and a priesthood blessing this week, he has accepted Christ as his savior and is working towards baptism.  We are also teaching a few Nigerians.  One guy named …….. has just started coming to church with us and we are going to start teaching his family soon, should be great, I teach Gospel Principles almost every week, and ……. always has great input and the spirit is strong.  He wants the priesthood! So does ……. honestly.

Sorry again that it’s short today, I love you all and miss you so much.  Thanks for all the support and love you give to me, I hope you’re having a great week and that life is great for you and that you’re feeling the Lords blessings during this season in business and family affairs.  I’ll send pics on Wednesday probably; Happy Christmas and I’ll talk to you next week!

Tell me if there are any concerns for Skype.

Love you both mom and dad,

Elder Merrill