Well, the weather is getting dreich,
which is Scottish for bad. The temperature is dropping daily, today is
freezing outside. Luckily it’s a calm day. Some days the winds blow
and the rain falls and it is just frigid. Lots of cloud cover and very
little color is anywhere to be seen. Just a bit of green and lots of grey.
I'm doing great, working hard. We get busier and busier as we find more
and more people to teach about the Gospel. I think about home here and
there, and even have begun to have a few dreams about being home, which tells
me where my subconscious is at times. Nevertheless I work harder and
longer every day. I love being a missionary, it’s a hard thing to do sometimes
but it’s never anything less than purely satisfactory. Nothing could be
more fulfilling at this time in my life than doing missionary work.
I look forward dearly to seeing you
again, and witnessing how much you've grown. You'll be 18 when that day
comes. How is school? Seminary getting any better since we last
spoke of it? Work?
I hope your life is full and busy,
it is so important to stay busy. Even return missionaries can fall
away. It’s extremely important that no matter how strong you feel that
you remember the basics of living the gospel, that is:
Reading the Book of Mormon daily.
Praying daily. and taking the Sacrament each week.
If you do these simple things, you
will never be tempted to commit any serious sin and you will be happy. I
I love you sis, have a great week.
Mom and Dad,
week was good and we got a lot done even though it was moves week. Elder
Oldham showed up. He's a great guy. He is humble, obedient and has
a strong testimony of the Gospel and Personal Revelation. He's a good guy
and I am seriously excited to see how much we will be able to do in the next
six weeks. We will accomplish lots and lots of work, we both feel and
know the Lord has prepared us and many others to come closer to Him. We
will find teach and baptize. We also got roped into choir practice this
week, as the ward prepares for the Stake Christmas Spectacular. I knew
very little of the music and lyrics, as much of it was from Frozen and other conventional
..... and ..... have baptismal dates
for the 6 of December, which I found out yesterday is stake conference weekend
so it may have to change. Nevertheless they will be baptized in December.
They are good kids. Others have come into the picture as
investigators. We had a good meeting with bishop last week where we went
over the ward list.It was good to be in
close communication with bishop and I know he felt great about us carrying out
his agenda with his ward. I've learned many great skills about how to
work with ward councils and wish with all my might that I knew these things at
the start of my mission. I would have done so much differently.
Humility is a characteristic quality I'm working on now and I pray and study
over the subject constantly. I know the Lord compels his children to be
humble, so I am humbling myself before he does that. The scriptures say,
blessed is he that humbles himself without being compelled to be humble.
And also, blessed is he that has faith, without needing to see, in reference to
Thomas at the visitation of the Resurrected Christ to the apostolic assembly in
Jerusalem. I love and read the scriptures daily and will speak more in my
letter to you.
Forgive my poor communication
skills. I love you and think of you all often. Thanks for all you
do to bless my life the lives of others. I'm grateful for righteous
examples as goodly parents like you who I can look up to and hope to be like
someday. Life would be much harder without you.
Well this week was full of
interesting happenings, nothing too exciting, but eventful. As you know I
attended Amy’s baptism. We worked very closely with her during my time in
Perth and got to know her very well. I had an opportunity to bear
testimony at the meeting and enjoyed everyone's company very much. The
Johnstones are wonderful people, I love them. They definitely are amongst
the people I've gotten the closest too on my mission. It has been so
great to see them a couple of times during the last few weeks, visiting Perth
was an interesting experience but it just felt like I had never left, like I
was still there. It made me think, that's probably what it will be like
coming home. I will wake up the day after I return, and it will all just
be like a dream. It'll probably be as if I never left.
Great to hear that Elder White got a
hold of you guys after all, great news. Ha-ha we had a good time
together, three good months in Limerick.
Last night was moves call, so
transfers will take place this coming Thursday, they are normally on Wednesday
but it’s a national bon fire holiday and its unsafe to move during those so we
are doing it on Thursday. Okay here is the news. Slightly unexpectedly,
Elder Pease is moving to Cork. I am receiving Elder Oldham, who is only
three transfers out and he is coming from Oban actually. President has
also assigned me to serve as District Leader. Good stuff.
Last night as well, we had dinner
with a member couple.He is a bigtime
golfer so we chatted a lot about the sport, and he even said in the weeks to
come, at some point, he will take us golfing. Cool enough, a couple weeks
ago we were in a charity shop and after speaking with the lady at the desk for
a while, she gave me a perfectly fine set of golf clubs for free. (Bag and
all) There are only 7 clubs, but it’s certainly adequate for a game of
golf. I told this member we would be golfing on our family trip to
Scotland/Ireland and he thought he may come if we go to Dundee. Good guy.
Yes, whilst at Amy's baptism, a
couple young guys that I taught when I was in Perth told me they were getting
baptized on the 15th of Nov. This is exciting news, I worked quite
closely with these kids and invested well in them, hoping one day some
missionary would reap what I sowed. Very little did I know, I would later
reap the fruits of my own work. Jordan the younger of the two, (they are
twins) asked me to do his baptism, the other, James, asked me to confirm
him. This was a great night last Saturday and this week has ended very
I feel your prayers, thanks for
everything. I love you and will speak to you very soon,
I pray as well for you all, and I
hope you have a great week as the snow begins to fall, Elder Merrill
I have been working on a letter for a while. I'm sorry I am absolutely
terrible at writing. I have wanted to write you guys since I got to
Limerick. I have written no one in that time so I have been trying to get
on that. I just wrote Viviane but I haven't sent it. It’s like when
I was a kid and I would do a school assignment and never turn it in.
I wanted to let you know I got the
package! It was perfect as well, the SOBE was genius I miss those things
so bad. I am enjoying everything in in and savoring every parcel.
Thanks so much, it’s great to get these things, the cookies and biscuits and
snacks were all perfect and I'll be enjoying it for weeks to come. Love
Whew, my mission passes before my eyes
as it were a dream. I was speaking to mom about how I love the fall season, the
autumn months have always been my favorite. It seems no matter where you
are, there is energy in the air that you can feel. Nothing reminds me
more of home than the feeling in the fall air. But indeed it comes to an
end, and the cold sweeps Dundee with wind and rain. Winter comes. The
weather here has already been getting worse, and quickly went from long sleeve
shirt business to coat and jumper with long johns business. The problem
with Scottish weather, however, is that it is so unpredictable and you never
know what to wear for fear of either underdressing or overheating midway
through the day being miles from the flat. I miss all your autumn cooking and
baking, the members take good care of us here, and one family even invited us
all over for dinner next June.
This week was great. For the
first time in 5 weeks, we had investigators at church yesterday. Luckily,
it was a primary presentation. Let me tell you something, the kids in
this ward are the most impressive young bunch I have ever come across.
They are smart, they are cute and they can sing. So our investigators enjoyed
it very much. Also, our ward does lots of activities which keeps things
alive and draws people to us. It’s a great place to serve. I'm
happy and busy, and usually tired. Crazy, today is my 19 month mark.
I pray for you guys and the business
often. You provide me with motivation and love for this great work, and I
feel great joy to hear of the blessings that you all recognize and feel back
home. Blessings travel across seas and even across worlds; it’s an
amazing thing the Gospel. If you really understand it and the magnitude
of Gods plan, than you understand that EVERYTHING is the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. If anything, my mission has taught me this principle.
Before me mission, the Gospel and the church were appendages to my life.
But now, it is all things.
Two good men of service and men of God
passing away. Interesting to hear of Uncle Eb's detour, something I never
knew about, which is fine. The Atonement is such a powerful thing; I
can't imagine how great his understanding of it was after coming back into the
church. Both the healing and repairing aspects of the Savior’s sacrifice
would be made active in his life. The spirit world is an interesting
place, I do marvel about it sometimes. We understand so little about the
realm without the veil. There is so much to know in our world that we
don't get too much of a chance to gain that understanding.
Things are going well here, we have
more and more success and I begin to enjoy myself more and more as I realize my
purpose for being called to Dundee. Elder Pease is also doing really well
and we are getting along.
I love you both, thanks for your wisdom
and righteousness, and for keeping your covenants. I can't wait to go to the
temple in 4 months. See you there. Have a great week,
Sage is team captain, doesn't
surprise me a bit, what a champion.College
is such a strange place. It was VERY beneficial for me looking back now
to be living at home while doing my first year and I would recommend that
whenever possible. It’s just a dangerous place these days, plus very
Send the package the way you think
is best. I just heard DHL was cheap, but if you’re not confident in it do
whatever you feel is best. Instead of candy this time around send some
cookies(chewy ones), cracker type stuff(maybe cheezits or animal crackers, that
kind of stuff). Biscuits that we don't get here are appreciated, like
Chicken in a biscuit, wheat thins and stuff like that. Thank you so much
for all of these packages are fantastic.
Sydnee is such a great girl. I
pray for her so much, and I can't believe that she is almost 18. She will
be YSA by the time I get home, that's nuts!!! Everyone is growing up too
fast for me, but I suppose the world still rotates whether you’re in it or
not. It’s great to hear of her success in sports. My own success was
crucial for my confidence and social stability in high school. And yeah,
having my name and photo up in the gym and in the school magazine helped a bit
too. Plus some trophies in the weight room. All good stuff, like
brother like sister eh? Except for the straight A's, that's not like me ha-ha
that's all her. I'm proud of her.
It was a slow week, lots of finding,
little success. It’s okay though, we plan on having success soon because
there has never been any success of considerable note that has ever occurred in
history without a long trail of failure and shortcoming to precede it.
Failure is the evident and necessary anecdotes of success. No worthy
success comes easily nor without sacrifice. So we work on. I
read Ether 12 this morning, that is a very good chapter. I love the
dialogue between the prophet Moroni and the Lord. It's such a great
growing experience for Moroni and reading it really humanizes him and sheds on
us a great lesson.
I love you Mom and I love this
church. I plan on calling you guys one day for parental advice; it seems
that your children are doing alright. Think of the stripling warriors who
fought on without one being killed, while countless others were dying all
around them. These are the last day, parents like you were reserved for
the faithfulness and valor that would be required of the House of Israel before
the Second Coming.
Wow it’s certainly been a great
month to live in Utah! Conferences, temple dedications, fall is coming
on, I love this time of year, in fact its probably my favorite time of
year. Dads a great spiritual example, he does so much good and I know he
has been an great leader for many people, in and out of our ward. When he
dealt with the young men, they all loved him. I can remember speaking
with a few of them and they always smiled and expressed love for Dad. I
never questioned why, I only felt blessed to have more time with him than they
all had. You both have always been great to spend time with us, which
made all the difference growing up. Although there were many times that I
chose to spend time with friends rather that with Dad playing tennis, or with
you doing something else I always love being with you both. The time I
spent with you or dad was always infinitely more valuable and enjoyable than
time spent with others. I remember faintly a book you had read about
expression of love. There were five, or so, ways to show it. Time,
gift, touch, words of praise, and other stuff I don't remember. I've
thought of that, and recognized I like all of it but Time seems to be the most
valuable to me by far. Neither you nor Dad were ever hesitant to spend
time with me, and always seemed to put us kids first in everything. Never
think that these moments went unnoticed. They carried me through life and
they've carried me through my mission.
everything Mom, I'm sorry I don't have the time nor resources to
share all the stories I might have. Here's one. Yesterday, we have
about 45 minutes left in the night, and we were walking about in the dark (as
it gets dark at about 6pm this time of year) and not wanting to waste time
we decided to think of a way to make our finding efforts more effective.
Elder Pease prayed that we would find someone to speak with that we could have
a great effect on. We followed the direction he received to walk down a
certain road, and saw one man walking our way. We approached him, he was
agnostic and called us too young to know anything and that we were unlearned
and inexperienced. We spoke about God and shared our beliefs, which he
questioned. It seemed his attitude was
to challenge everything we said and to prove us wrong even though he had no
evidence, nor reason for his own beliefs, which were inconsistent anyway.
In a spark of genius, Elder Pease said to the man, "I dare you to read the
Book of Mormon, I dare you." The man seemed taken aback, and seeing the
tables had changed slightly, I said to him, "If you can read this book
with a sincere and open mind, and put it down afterwards regarding it useless
slander, I will owe it to you that you have proved us wrong." He agreed
to take the book and read it. It was a great time and a great way to
finish the night.
Also, a couple weeks ago, to assist
in building our faith, I insisted in weekly planning that we should pray for a
Headquarter Referral, which is when someone is referred to us through the
Mormon.org website. We prayed a few times for this to happen, and
not more than two days later, HQ called us with a referral.
I will probably buy boots today, I
think its wisdom. I love you mom, I miss you and am very excited to be
reunited with all of you in just a few months. Have a great week, thanks
for being great!
p.s. this is me right now.
To his Dad:
Thanks for your love and confidence
Dad, as I near the end of my allotted term of service, I think a lot about the
future and look forward to all the things life will throw at me. Whatever
happens, I plan to serve the Lord and lead a good life. I have gained a
testimony and knowledge from God. He would never give me these things
without plans to use them for good, and without the intent of granting even
greater things to me if I live a good life which He knows I can and
will. That's that, I look forward to seeing you all again.
I certainly did love conference, it’s
always a great time and I will always remember how great of a spirit I felt as
the choir sung and the prophets spoke. I love it. We watched it at
our stake center, which is here in Dundee, known as the Bingham Terrace building
as it is on Bingham Terrace.Another
great part of conference for me was seeing all of my good friends from the
Perth Branch, who came to watch conference at the same stake center that I was
in. It was amazing to see them and catch up. It was a great happy
moment to see again the faces of some the people I've grown the closest too on
That's funny that you met an Aberdonian
in Utah, funny story too ha-ha. I can see it now, that's awesome.
You feel fulfilled when you’re tired
and you've done a lot in a short time. My companion, Elder Pease, is a
good and humorous guy from Logan Utah. He likes motorcycles, is
originally from Texas, and is 19. He has red hair, is 6foot 4, and is
into all sorts of things that guys are into. He has a girlfriend as
well. He is a good missionary as well with great social skills and a good
amount of confidence.I like him, he is
always willing to change and improve which is his best attribute, and he could
very well be a great leader in future times. We have a couple
investigators, as well as a couple new ones that we got last week. There
is much to be done here, less active work, part member families and the regular
Our flat is small, old and cold most of
the time but certainly adequate and gets the job done, or at least it will when
we get a chance to buy a dresser.
There is another team in the Lift Area
but they live on the other side of the area from us. Takes about 40
minutes to get there on a good day, the bus system sucks because to get
anywhere we must first take a bus into the city center, and then take another
outward toward our destination. Brigham definitely didn't
construct Dundee. No news yet from Limerick but I saw all my old
friends from Perth yesterday, which was an amazing thing. I couldn't stop
smiling as I reunited with some of my most loved members in this country.
Alright Mom, I love you and miss
you. Have another great week, and have peace. Thanks for
Your grateful son
PS Thanks for the package contents of
the last one, they are still serving good purposes. I'm using all the
extra blankets I’ve towed around as well. It is getting cold, winter is
setting on this week and it’s coming down in Dundee.
Yes it seems that from time to time an email doesn't make it across the ocean. Sorry about that, it’s good to hear from you.I liked one of the talks in conference that spoke about making sure our activities from day to day are not merely entertaining but that we are always spending time in productivity. If we understand our purpose and the skill of goal setting, we will make sure we are spending a great deal of our time doing only things that pertain to achieving that purpose. Sometimes life can feel like a state of "limbo", I think this happens mainly when we are idle, or at least close to it.
I'm doing great, enjoying missionary service and the great rainy weather of this island country. Dundee is an interesting city, and we are very busy trying to do all the things we feel the Lord expects of us here. He is undoubtedly helping us to do the things he knows will be most effective of our time. If I know anything at all, it is that you don't have to be a missionary to receive this kind of guidance. Seek some guidance from our Father in Heaven about what you should do. Remember President Uchtdorf's 4 steps to answers (from Moroni 10:3 and 4) : 1 read the word of God 2 Ponder God's works among men throughout all time 3 Pray to know the answer to a question or guidance in specificity, and 4 DO the thing that comes into your mind. I promise my good sister if you always follow this pattern for seeking guidance, you will always receive it! God loves us so much and has provided his most Beloved Son as a sacrifice, that all of us may have the opportunity to become clean enough to return to live with Him, having grown and received so much experience on this earth.
I love you, thanks for the email, have a wonderful week and I will indeed see you in no time.
A lot is different about my
new area and assignment, but things so far are going well. The flat is
small and old, but suitable and we have hot water so I can shave
properly. Elder Pease is 6 foot 4 red head (just like my first comp) and
is 19 years old. He is from Layton, and likes guns and motorcycles and
punching stuff. We get along fine, decent actually. He seems to be
going along fine with a few of the changes that I brought to the work here, and
even expressed some excitement and confidence saying, "It's good to have a
companion who will help me and allow me to be the missionary I know I can
be". Its all good, and I am confident in my ability to do what I've
been sent here to do.
Yeah the old Ryder cup is
taking place not far at all from where I'm at. I heard that we got
wasted, expected I suppose it doesn't seem like any one has been on their game
as much since guys like Woods and Phil hit the course. That's where I
live, no big deal. Gleneagles is an amazing resort, we hopped over there
when I was in Perth but never golfed there or anything. Beautiful
Sydnee has a jeep?? this is
news to me. What kind of Jeep? So the jeep breaks and you take it
to a turbo installers shop? I see what's going on here. Pictures please.
One good thing about Liff
area is that it seems that all the members, of which there are 130 plus active
in the ward, love and feed the missionaries regularly. We have six dinner
appointments set up for this week. Which is great
I am pretty darn excited
for General Conference. Its a great thing as a missionary.
I've gotten quite bold out
here.Anyway, thanks for everything Dad,
I love you and revere and admire your fatherhood. Fatherhood is not a far
thing from Godhood. God understands all things, and above all names of
Majesty and Nobility, asked us to call him, Father.
I feel your prayers, its a
great time to be in the full time service of God.