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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sep 8, 2014

Hey Dad,

First of all, Viviane made us those pumpkin cookies!  They were pretty darn good, they weren't mama's cookies, but for what she was working with they were nice.  Second, she was indeed baptized, and it was a wonderful baptism.  Elder Henrie confirmed her yesterday at church, which was his first time doing so.  She was beaming and blended right into the branch.  She is amazing, since receiving her witness about 2 weeks ago till now; she has given us over 10 of her friends name and addresses to teach.  Conversion is magnificent; a cool part was sustaining her as a new member of the church.  Everyone raised their right hand and she looked around and grinned and I knew she felt surrounded by family.

Moves call is two weeks away, on the 21st I think.

My companion, Elder Henrie, and I are getting on very well.  We seem to connect on more aspects of both gospel and non-gospel topics that any of my previous companions.  He's a country living truck loving gun shooting Canadian, and plus, he lives not 15 miles over the Montana border in Canada, barely even Canadian.  But we get along very well; we teach well together and laugh all the time.  A very compatible companion, certainly easy to love.

I'll tell you what dad it seems that every week I walk into church and for some reason I am giving an unexpected lesson that I have no plans for.  It happened a few times early in my service here, and I suppose those lessons went well enough that I'm now the go to for quick substitutions for gospel principles.  Which is okay, I have the ability to pull a lesson or talk out of my sleeve, and if I have such talents I shouldn't shirk in using them.  As a matter of fact I pray constantly for opportunities to use my gifts, to magnify them.  Probably a gift that you helped me to develop, your confidence, conversationalist and ability to teach simply for understanding.  Any praise I receive for my abilities is a reflection of how well you've taught me, along with the blessings that God has entrusted me with.  I understand well my responsibility to use them for good, and to develop more.

Well, we had a great week here in Limerick, although a good portion of our week took place outside of the zone entirely.  On Tuesday, we gave a Zone Meeting Training on Conversion. The training went very well; we received some good praise from the Senior couples regarding it.  One Senior Elder in particular I’ve grown very fond of.  Elder Hale from Salt Lake.  He and his wife serve in the Cork Branch here in the Zone; he is a good and well educated man and a talented story teller, which many interesting stories to tell I might add.  He and I get on well, and he has told me that he may be able to hook me up with a cheap deal on a lifetime membership at the Front Sight Nevada shooting range.   Gold mine.


Later Tuesday evening, we drove up to Dublin to spend the night with the Dublin ZLs.  4am the next morning, we all got up and caught a plane to Edinburgh, where we had a great Mission Leadership Council Meeting, discussed goals and such, what the mission needs, area and mission welfare and other administrative topics. Very good to be in Scotland again.  After the meeting, around 4pm, we blitzed the APs area.  I was on exchange with Elder Clement, my good friend from Austin, TX.  We did lots of finding and met some good people, however the theme of the day seemed to be atheism, and so our teaching pattern seemed to repeat itself with every street contact we had.  Good time.  We flew home Thursday night, stayed the night in Dublin again, and were back home 11 am Friday morning, and got to work right way. 

Highlight of the week was Viviane's baptism, which was fantastic.  She was so happy and prepared, it was an unforgettable experience.  Really reminded me of my purpose here, and made me feel some needed fulfillment and success which was quite motivating.   Great week, I love being out here and can't believe I've only 6 months or so left.  I may get grey hairs in Limerick, I feel like some days I'm a lawyer, others a police officer, others a teacher, others like I'm running a business, but always a missionary.  Thanks for everything Dad, how's the old truck by the way?  Is Syd driving? Mom still driving that piece of junk?

I love you Dad, take good care, let us go on is our great cause.
Your son,
Elder Merrill


ps found this deer rug! its in our flat now.

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