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.

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 14, 2014 - Transfer to Limerick, Ireland

My boy in a kilt!


Well, here comes the big 52. This Wednesday I will be on a bus to Ireland and you will be celebrating your birthday. Happy Birthday Dad,

I will be home for the next one but for now, get yourself something nice from me. I can  remember when you were 40! Crazy isn’t it? This earthly life is just kicking our butts and we aren’t even quick enough to wave it by. But it’s a great time. I’m loving my mission, and learning so much, I grateful for your mission, that you went and for the stories and experiences you had while you were there.  Those stories and the experiences you shared with me as a kid played a huge role in guiding me towards my mission.

 Well it’s been a great week.  I’ll cut to the chase; I have been reassigned to serve in Limerick, Ireland as a Zone Leader.  I'm very excited for this call and for the service opportunities that are ahead of me.  Limerick is a District but is close to being made a stake so it should be exciting.  It’s the biggest Zone in the mission so I will be driving all over the south of Ireland.  So excited for this call, should be a great time and a memorable learning experience.

I’m so grateful to have served here in Perth and for the amazing people I have met and come to know. Such a blessing it has been, so many new friends and lessons learned.

 It’s great to hear about Evan and Sydnee doing as well as they are, they are exceptional people and I expect very high things of them because of their talents and gifts, and just who they are. Our family is so great.

Alright old man, I love you, thanks again for everything.  You’re a great dad; our Father in Heaven is most definitely pleased with your works as a father and as a person. I’m proud to be your son.

Have a great week Dad,

Your son,
Elder Merrill
Tanner feeding the Peacocks

Friday, May 2, 2014

April 27, 2014

 Hello Family, 

I can’t believe it’s nearly been another 6 months.  It will be the same time as last, 5 to 7. As close to 5 as possible. Can’t wait to see you then. Happy Anniversary! 23 years strong, I plan on being there for the next one and the 60th one too.

Glad to hear Austin came home safe and strong (ha-ha strong). He was always a superior human being, just a good and very capable person. Good for him.  

Okay, news for the week. We met again with our friend, …….. He let us in his home, which was still ransacked and filthy.  He had read the Plan of Salvation booklet we had given him, and asked about the section written on the Celestial Kingdom.  He read it aloud to us, slowing down at the last few words, "and receive a fullness of joy", and shed a tear while reading it. We explained to him briefly about the kingdoms of glory, but made it around to teaching him about the principle of repentance. As we explained this doctrine to him as written in the Gospel booklets, the spirit manifested our words as truth, and I watched a battle hardened man break down and cry.  It was quite a sobering experience, but we bore witness that his burden could be lifted and his guilt swept away because of Jesus Christ. His desire was obvious, and though there is a long way to go, he is willing to change his life. It was a great experience, and I learned so much from speaking with this man.  War, drugs and crime have reduced this strong capable man, and he told us he knows the route he is currently on will kill him. He didn't make it to church, but the future holds greater things for him if he acts now and follows the Gospel teachings. Through Jesus Christ comes the waters of everlasting life and if ……. isn't in need of the Atonement at this time in his life then no man is. I feel blessed to have met him.
Prayers in his behalf would be most appreciated.

I love my little brother. Prayers answered. I told Elder Rongomatane Dylan Jason Compain-Shaw about Evan's dream, which sounds great, he says if Evan serves in New Zealand that he will look out and take care of him, and feed him ice cream from a place called Pokeno. I’m proud of his words about his friends, and it makes me happy and feel blessed that I’ve had a good enough effect on him for him to say that. He is simply a man in a 14 year old body that really really wants to be in a 35 year old professional rugby player’s body.

I’m glad to hear you got the card, and that you liked it. I thought it was perfect. Sister Johnstone, the maker of such an art piece, is one of my favorite members.  The Johnstones are so great to be around; her husband was just called as second councilor in the branch presidency. Great people, they take care of us. 

We also had Zone Development yesterday in Dundee.  It was a blast, we played capture the flag, dodge ball and other similar games.  I ran and ran and sprinted.  The competition was so fun, and surprisingly I’m still blazin fast. As usual, please have a wonderful week.  I love you all!

Your son,
Elder Merrill
PS I bought plums this week, remember grandmas? Yes.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 14, 2014

Hello Family,

Well moves is away, my companion and I are doing great together and we get along just fine, I’m going to try and learn his native language, Mauri. We have had some great successes already, and even seen some miracles. For instance, yesterday we were walking home from church, and a man called down to us from a second story balcony. We walked over and he invited us into his flat. When we got inside, I saw the worst mess I’ve ever seen.  He had been away for some time, and someone had broken into his flat, took all of his valuables and personal things and destroyed everything else. The intruders had used illegal drugs such as heroine in the flat and there were dozens of needles throughout the flat.  Honestly it was completely destroyed. He asked us why Jesus would let something like that happen.  We began to speak to him and he opened up to us, telling us about his life and many of the trials he had been facing. He and his wife were asking for help and putting faith in us, or Christ. We gave them a book of Mormon and other material and set up to see them again next Wednesday. We know it’s going to take a lot to change their lives but if they are willing to commit to the Gospel it will bless their lives.  The work goes on. Great experience.  Believing in the Atonement is believing in change. And forgiveness. And sacrifice.

Thanks so much for the package! It was lovely and the contents were perfect as usual.  I loved the cardigan thing, the blue one, I wore it the day I got it and got a lot of good comments made about it. The food and snacks and such are always good.  I will find a good use for that wee waterproof bag, and the tie as well I wore that yesterday, good looking tie.  Flippin nice. The letters were also very uplifting, especially Dads I really felt good reading that one. 20 years old... I swear I actually look older this birthday, I’ll send photos.

I got some things from the members... as usual they feed us obtuse amounts of food and this week was an extreme of the same.  We received three big cakes, three tubs of food, mashed potatoes, and Elder Shaw gave me a big toblerone without knowing it was my favorite haha and a book on how to speak Mauri.  Oh yeah the Patton’s sent me a chicken in a biscuit box so I have 3 now, best birthday ever pretty much.  The day itself was a blast.  We went out to eat for breakfast at a nice buffet and it was glorious, then worked and visited people throughout the day, I quite enjoyed myself. Eleanor bought me a small set of junior bagpipes and 2 tartan ties. The Johnstones made me a really nice card, and I love them by the way they are lovely pretty much family.

We are taken care of very well here; I had 4 families wanting to take us out for dinner I had to turn them down because we had appointments, crazy stuff. 
Love you all have a great week, you’re in my thoughts and prayers,
Elder Merrill