Mom and Dad,
Obviously general conference was this weekend, which was very uplifting and wonderful. We watched it at the Bingham Terrace Chapel, and enjoyed all of the sessions. I liked especially Dallin H Oaks talk on priesthood, the other man’s talk about his wife jumping out of the truck, and sister reeves I believe it was, she was great as well.I’ll give you a quick report of something good that happened last night. As we were crossing the street to our flat at 9pm, I could see some people on the top floor of our flat complex, smoking and drinking on the balcony, who saw us approach the building. As we climbed the stairs underneath them, I could hear several people on the balcony murmuring that we were the Jehovah Witnesses that lived below, something like, "oh no its those Jehovah's that live down there". Right as I was walking in our door, I felt it was my desire and responsibility to inform these people of their mistaking us for JWs, and this I know now was an impressing from the Holy Ghost. I climbed the stairs; Elder Arvig followed, and told them in a kind and casual way not to worry any longer because we were not JWs, but Mormons. I began to return down the stairs and one of them called me back up to explain what a Mormon was, and a conversation unfolded lasting around 30 minutes. During the conversation, the four people who were having a BBQ, asked many great questions about God and other Theological concepts. I answered well, feeling led by the spirit, casually asking them inspired questions to teach them in a way most edifying to their understanding (being mid 20 and less religious people). They loved us, and liked our answers, and even fed us sausages and orange juice (which they made sure to tell me wasn't spiked). It was a great conversation.
Again, 30 miles away in Dundee city this morning, we bumped into them again while walking from the train station to the city center. God has a will, and He just does what he will and if we as saints are sanctified and worthy our thoughts will be his thoughts and we will do what he needs us to do. I never felt prompted, but realized afterward that my thoughts were from God and he led me to some of His prepared children.I love you, the Holy Spirit guides,
Have a great week,
|Hike to Kinoul Hill|
Dear Mother, (My birthday email)
It’s been nearly 20 odd years that I’ve been in your care. If you think living in Scotland doesn't mean I still rely on you for the lever of compassion and love you have given me against the smothering boulder of the burdens of life, I want you to know that's not true. Your example of love and the many other things you taught me have been crucial and foundational to all of the success and happiness I’ve had in my life. Thanks for everything, and I mean everything that you do for me and for our family. A wise man seeks an eternal partner that has the mothering capacity and spiritual strength and emotional know how matching that of his mother. Thank you for providing me with that wisdom, along with God's help, and for setting the highest standard. I love you, though our time here is so short, I will always owe you for the years you have been a blessing to my life. If God didn't absolutely need you to be my mom He would not have tried so hard to make it happen, I know He pulled some strings there. Don't take that trust lightly and I know you never have, so thank you. I love you, Happy Birthday.
Your first son,Elder Merrill
The knees are done up because of the walking, we walk miles and miles and miles each day. We only walk, but it’s not too bad, I’ve just taken up some leg strengthening techniques including some stretching. Should help.
I love you and miss you of course, have a great week. Thanks for being a worthy example and Hero for me and others, I heard a quote in conference, every young man needs a hero to live up to, I add my own quote " without a standard near by, young men will live up to the nearest source of example they can find, whether it be television, sports stars or celebrities, or other unworthy and misleading sources. This is why young men and women need to be surrounded by people of courage and integrity, the higher the standards of our adults, the better standards the children who grow up around them will have." I feel that way about you and leaders in my youth, very important people to my growth and in deciding who I wanted to be.
Thanks for the love, have a good one,Elder Merrill