Monday, December 23, 2013

Jingle Bells, Batman Smellz, Merry Christmas Y'all


We are finally back to normal and having fun again. Last night was really cool. We went to the First Methodist Church Christmas choral concert and they had stringed and brass instruments as accompaniment and narrators that read verses from the bible. The people there were all so friendly! Some people there recognized us as missionaries and told us they were from Idaho Falls. They had great things to say about their experiences with our church (even thought he ref-ed church basketball.... crazy right? hahaha).

 After reflecting about my experience at the Methodist church I started thinking about how so many other churches have so many great things about them. While I was listening to their music, I could feel the spirit. It was weird for me to think about that I could feel the spirit in a different church. That triggered thoughts of my admiration towards Joseph Smith. He felt the spirit in the other churches he attended. He saw the goodness of those churches BUT he realized that something was missing! He had to be SO spiritually sensitive to realize that. Being a missionary in the south is hard, because people mostly have religion already which is so good, but there is something more! This experience really helped me realize the importance of teaching when you find. To not ask for permission to teach, but to immediately begin and to find some relation in the conversation to the restoration. It will be there!

Being away from home for Christmas is definitely not an easy thing to do; but, I am so happy to be here in Tennessee! The people here aren't just ward members, less-actives, investigators and other missionaries; they are my friends! I am so happy that I am surrounded by friends this Christmas and that we get to help people remember the reason for the season, Jesus Christ! I just got on a semi colon kick ;;;;; They're kewl. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas! Let me just leave with the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song, In the Bleak Mid Winter:

What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wiseman,
I would do my part.
What can I give him?
Give my heart!
I hope we can all find a way this Christmas to give our heart a little bit more to Jesus Christ!
Sister Merrell

PS here are some pictures of the thugz in my life. Maxine's typical thug life and Sister Weight's thug life with her tooth ache--also results from last weeks dental appointment are that she has to get a root canal! Poor girl, a broken arm and a root canal! :(

Sunday, December 22, 2013

And then... BAM she got hit by a car....

Hi it's me.
So I thought the highlight of this week was going to be that I held our investigator's pet rats and it was disgusting… but then all the drama happened!
Thursday night we are riding to an appointment, we were riding single file, on the right side of the road, and wearing reflective vests! A jeep turns the corner and starts heading towards us. AND THEN BAM SISTER WEIGHT GETS HIT BY A CAR!!!!! She falls on to the ground and I run over. She tells me she is okay but her arm hurts. I tell her not to move and I call president, no answer. Bishop, no answer. Elder Parkinson…"SISTER WEIGHT GOT HIT BY A CAR!!" And then he zooms on over. Great district leader.
I think I should start a new paragraph so this is the new paragraph. Anyways, the Elders helped John (the idiot driver who was probably texting) change his popped tire, and then they take us to the hospital. Long night. And the results are… my fun friend broke her arm!

So that was great. She's on loratab. Even better. And then on top of it all, the next day she gets a horrible tooth ache! So then she was a mess and crying a lot. So I took her to a member's house (the awesome Valdezs) and I get a sister in a trio on the other side of Oak Ridge to be my fun friend for the day. Then I dropped the phone in a puddle and had a melt down. That was fun. Hahahahaha I was just so stressed. But then I felt better! Don't think I'm a weirdo, it's what humans do. Then we put the phone in a bag of rice for a few hours and IT WORKED… Yeah Heavenly Father loves me. It's fine.

Well then I went and got her and she was still a wreck, emotionally and physically. We didn't sleep at all that night. But then it was Sunday so I made her go to church and that made her feel a little better. Then President called us and told us we could come sleep over at the mission home and go to a christmas musical devotional that evening with them. So we did that. And that was fun because my best friend forevs Sister Hamilton was there and that turned my week right around! 
Today whomps because it consists of going to doctor appointments ALL FREAKIN DAY. Three (3) of them! One was in Farragut so that's why I'm at the mission office right now. Yeah  so I need to work on patience it has been brought up a couple of times…. Hahahaha. Anyways so I got on this precious lil' macbook. And then President decided we needed to chat so we did that. Gosh I love that man, he made me feel like a million bucks! He told me I'm a great missionary! He also gave me a spoiler alert that I will be staying in my area but getting a new companion. And we will be back on bikes! I miss my bike. I'm the driver now in our car. Bahahaha everyone tells me I have skillzzzz.

Anyways, this week is going to be a whole lot better! I can't wait! And we have the zone conference christmas party so that's going to be tizight! And we have a bunch of appointments with new investigators. What better gift can we give for Christmas than to fetchin' baptize! Bahaha that was about to get all sappy about how the best gift is the gospel but everyone knows I'm not that girl. But the gospel is kewl.

I love everyone! Can't wait to talk to some of you on Christmas! Feel inclined to show up at the Merrell house and bring my mom some chocolate orange sticks for me because she loves them. And then maybe she'll let you talk to me but I doubt it. Ha. Stay in skool kidz!


Sister Merrell

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Shortest Email Eva

Hey Y'all!
So this week was really fun! We got to be in a Christmas parade in Wartburg with the youth! They made a float that had on it and we passed out bracelets. It was so fun! I love our ward members!
Also, we got 11 new investigators!!!!!!!!!!! We have really been blessed because of our renewed faith to find!
I will write a better email next week! Thank you for the love and support!

Sister Merrell
PS Oh hey it's my doppleganger Elizabeth Smart hahahahaha NOT!

Monday, December 2, 2013

They Call Me Zerahemna

Hey Y'all

It's me Sister Andrea Kate Merrell!!!

My Thanksgiving was good. We had like 4 meals so that was rough eating like a bird at everyone, but don't worry I'm okay. At the church there was a turkey wrapped in bacon... These southerners... They really are something.

Well let's get to the point. Want to know why they call me Zerahemna? Well first check out Alma 44... done? K cool. My companion scalped me. Yup! We were walking home from our dinner appointment and I some how ended up in a playful headlock. My hair got caught on the button of her jacket... AND THEN I GOT SCALPED! Don't worry I saved the hair in a plastic baggy and showed ward members, missionaries, really anyone interested. I had a photo shoot with it too. She's sorry though! hahahaha SORRY SHE GOT CAUGHT!!!

Anyways, sorry I'm crazy, whatever. Let's talk about missionary stuff now. We have one baptism date for this guy we're teaching named Terry! The only bummer is that it's January 1st... which I thought was fine until we told the District Leader and he said it's too far away blah blah blah and then the Zone Leaders  that too. It is too far away! We know that! But he is stubborn and has to quit smoking. Elder Parkinson and Elder Hagans came with us last night to see him and they gave him a blessing to help him. So hopefully he has the faith!

Anyways that's all I got. Smell ya later homiez!


Sister Merrell

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Little Bit About Love

Hey Ya Fanz,

So the power just went out for half an hour in the middle of emailing... so that was fun... and frustrating. So my thoughts are really scattered right now so just a warning.

We went to visit Diana, a lady who is paralyzed and lives in an assisted living center. She had to go to the hospital and was on a respirator the day she was supposed to get her patriarchal blessing. We were so sad. And we were so scared she wasn't going to make it. BUT she recovered and was back at the assisted living place within the week. She's getting her blessing on Tuesday! We are so excited and honored that she has invited us to be a part of that. Anyways when we went to visit her we had to wear surgical masks, gowns, gloves, shoe covers, the whole 9 yards. It was kinda fun.

This week I learned a lot about love:

We were eating lunch at a member's house, grilled cheese sandwiches. And I found a HUGE hair in mine. And I continued to eat the entire sandwich. You know you love someone if you eat their entire hairy grilled cheese and don't even say a word.

We went to visit my great black  less-active friend Leon! He insisted that I smelt his hand. So I did it. And I almost died. Then he told me he had just been gutting pig intestines. You know you love someone when you don't throw up all over them.

We go visit a few people who live at this place called Callahan towers. It's for disabled people whether mentally or physically. It REEKS so bad in there. We have to hold our breath every time we are in the elevator. Yesterday we went to go visit some less active people there and we found ourselves wanting to stay longer because we enjoyed visiting them (this was surprising because normally we don't chat and we get right to the lesson so we can get in and out). You know you love someone is you want to stay longer at their house even though when you're sitting on their couch there are bugs crawling all around.

Last but not least. We had invited 6 investigators to come to church. They all said they'd be there. The meeting was starting and we kept glancing towards the door. Finally they started passing the sacrament and we realized they weren't coming. I wanted to just cry. I felt so discouraged and saddened. You know you love someone when you just want them to understand that obtaining eternal life is the most important thing. It disappoints you so much when they don't see that and when they don't keep commitments.

I whispered to Sister Weight and asked her what does someone read when they've really done all they could and people basically reject them. Alma 8. OH YEAH! It made me feel so much better. Alma was rejected but Heavenly Father told him to go back to the people and to try again. He was blessed for it. So this week is another week to try again! But it's thanksgiving so everyone told us they're going to be out of town... so that's cool. Hahahaha. Whatever we'll find a way!

Anyways. Everyone have a happy thanksgiving!


Sister Merrell



Monday, November 18, 2013

First Dates, Homelessness, and a Big Pile of Leaves

Hey Fanz,

I love being a missionary. There I said it. And I'll never take it back!!! This week has just been jam packed with miracles!

So anyways, first item of business. Sister Valdez was playing in a football field sized pile of leaves with her kids (okay maybe a slight exaggeration in size but at the same time not really) and she lost her keys in it! So she called us to go help her! We all got there (the zone leaders came with) and Elder Schouten said a prayer! And guess what?? WE FOUND THEM. All because we asked in faith. So great. But honestly as a missionary I never fear when I lose stuff... except when I lost my planner yesterday and almost died. NBD (no big deal--your welcome dad).

We have really been picking up the pace here in Oak Ridge. We had a training on planning so we decided to take that to heart. Weekly planning ended up being 4 hours... hahaha but we DID SO MUCH! We made individualized goals for every investigator for every day of the week and figured out how we could achieve those goals and be accountable! I've seen a change in Sister Weight and I. We are working harder than we ever have before! We have been revamped and we are actually trying to get members at every lesson! We are encouraging people to set baptism dates and helping them realize that they are ready! We are just going to keep working harder and harder! There is always room for improvement!

Our investigator, Maria, told me that I'm pushy. DANG RIGHT I'M PUSHY BECAUSE I KNOW HOW BAPTISM AND RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST ARE THE BEST BLESSINGS AND ARE THE BEGINNING OF OUR JOURNEY TOWARDS EXALTATION. K sorry I just get excited. But I just thought that was so funny. I think a better word for pushy was unceasingly encouraging...bahahhaa.

So I read the Book of Mormon every day (duh) and I always wonder how the crap did I not understand it as well as I do now (the storyline, the doctrine, all that jazz). Want to know the secret? Pray before you read! Yeah that's actually no secret but it's something I had never done. I get so excited to study the Book of Mormon every morning! It's so kewl! Like this morning I read about how Zeniff spied on the Lamanites! IT WAS SO INTENSE! Also I have tender moments when I realize Heavenly Father wants me to learn the lessons that the prophets did during these times. He helps me see exactly how I can apply what I learn. I am obsessed with the Book of Mormon and I want everyone to read it!!

Also I wanted to share a precious moment with Sister Weight when we hit rock bottom..... We were on bikes and we were hungry for dinner and had no meal appointment and we had no time to go home to eat. So we stopped at a grocery store and bought lunchables and ate them on the ground outside. Lowest of the low. That's what being a hobo is like kind of I think. Bahahahahaha and Sister Weight kept saluting people with her pizza lunchable (I've taught her so well).  We love riding our bikes in the rain.

Elder Arnold and Elder Schouten are getting transferred. So like bye to them. BUT I GET TO STAY IN OAK RIDGE WITH SISTER WEIGHT FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited!!! We took this last and final picture of our district, I look fat in the one that has everyone so here's the one where everyone looks dumb and I look kinda cute and Elder Parkinson and Elder Russo aren't even in it hahaha.

OKAY HERE IS THE LAST AND BEST THING! So Maxine (the lady we live with) had a date! His name is Tommy and they talk on the phone every night and he came all the way from Detroit for dinner! And we got to eat with them and it was so awkward!! So I wanted to remember how I 3rd wheeled with Sister Weight on the most awkward date of my life... so we took this amazing picture! Bahahahaha so awkward. Also I asked her the next day if they kissed... and she said yes... on the cheek. Hahahaha old people lovin'. So great.

Well that's it.Thanx 4 all da fan mail this week! Keep it up!!! I love you all!!!


Sister Merrell

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coincidences??? I think NOT!!!

Hey Humanz,
So this week was interesting...

We ate pizza at the friendship bell with all the Elders in our district. The friendship bell is a bell that the Japanese gave to the people here in Oak Ridge that made the atomic bomb.. or something.. I didn't read the plaque because I was too busy stuffing pizza in my face before the Elders ate it all. And then I played some basketball to burn off all the pizza I ate (don't you even worry mom!) and let's just say I'm a baller and leave it at that.

We had zone conference... and they called on me to give a talk about the area book. And I almost died. But I'm still living so that's good...

The primary program was yesterday so that was perfection, but what else can you expect from that?

We raked a TON of leaves. And I loved it.

Some cool stuff happened too...

We were on our bikes and I had to go to the bathroom wayyyyyyyyyyyyy bad so we stopped at the grocery store and on our way out we bumped into one of our investigators who was having a hard time. Her son is in prison and his parole hearing is coming up and it looks pretty bleak. So anyways we helped her load up her groceries and talked to her a little bit. That definitely wasn't a coincidence.

Also we were contacting a referral and they told us they weren't interested. But the little girls over at their house playing with their kids said their mom would want us to come over so we went and BAM we got 3 new investigators. Definitely not a coincidence!!!

Well that's all for now. Here's a pic of me and my beautiful leaves and a tribute to America from my favorite humanz I get to share a car with..(Sister Weight, Elder Arnold, and Elder Parkinson)


Sister Merrell

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween and stuff.

Hi y'all... (yeah I just sunk that low and said y'all... sue me)

So let me tell ya all about my super fun Halloween!!!!!.... I ate ground beef out of a pumpkin... The end. How exciting right!?

Anyways this week we had a really awesome district meeting! I had to role play to teach our investigator Maria and try and get her to commit to a baptism date because we've been struggling with that. So I picked Elder Russo from our district to help and we taught my companion Sister Weight! I was so nervous but Elder Russo was such a great teacher that the lesson flowed with ease! We taught about baptism but centered it on the most important thing... guess what that is??? ETERNAL LIFE! Did you know you can center any gospel lesson around the most important thing? It's crazy. We practiced doing that too. I taught keeping the sabbath day holy and it went pretty well I guess. The most important thing is obtaining eternal life and we can obtain that by accessing the atonement entirely through the gospel of Jesus Christ!

So....This lady asked us to come to her house to do some yard work. She shows us her backyard and it's a forest... and then she tells us to chop it down! So it's way fun actually because I can take out all my energy on chopping these weeds to bits and pieces! And the Elders make fun of Sister Weight and I while we do it so obvi it's going to be a good time! And we get to do it again on Wednesday YAHOO!!!!

Well I decided yesterday after some awesome revelation from Heavenly Father that I am going to have a "HERE & NOW" attitude. I am focused on all the awesome people here in Tennessee! I am focused on what I can do "HERE & NOW". I know it will be a struggle, but I will do my best and Christ will help me with the rest!

Sometimes all our appointments cancel and we have to sit on the side of the road and make phone calls and these sorts of pictures result....

Love all you homiezzzz


Sister Merrell

Monday, October 28, 2013


So this week was my 1 MONTH MARK!!! So that was cool. We celebrated by letting Chihuahuas attack me and crawl all over me while the elders were giving a lady a blessing.. she had like 5 of them and they were crazy. Not so much as crazy rabid but just crazy crazy! It seems like everyone out here has some kind of dog and most of the time they are miniature crazy ones!

Our cute little sister friend called us and told us to bring her some dinner, so we bought her some hamburgers. Then when we go there we watched her feed them to her dog. Hahahaha it was awesome! Funniest thing ever!

We had a zone conference in Morristown and Elder Corbridge of the seventy came and talked to us. We had to leave Oak Ridge at 6:30... and our alarm didn't go off so we woke up when the Elders texted us that they were outside! So then we had to throw on clothes and do our make-up in the car and I looked like a freak. Elder Corbridge talked for like 3 hours and I was probably listening intently for 2/3 of the time because I was so ADD! But I got a lot out of it and so did the district leader, Elder Parkinson and he likes to beat it into our head with his spiritual baseball bat when he calls us every night.... so that's cool.

This week I have picked up A LOT of new slang and so I decided to write down a new word that I learn every day! I don't really know their definitions sometimes but I do know how to use them in a sentence! hahahah
Warshed- I warshed my clothes
Wallered- I wallered myself up in a blanket
Wonky- Our organ sounds wonky

This week I had to give a talk! I chose to talk about love and how we can love ourselves! It was something I needed to work on because I always compare myself to other missionaries and think I'm inadequate. I studied a lot and it helped me so much! My talk went really well. My favorite part was when I talked about how we can give Heavenly Father our hearts in return for all of the many blessings he gives us!

Here is a picture of Maxine and me. I love her and she loves me and we're a happy family. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

And yesterday... I met Santa Clause

Hey Fanz, it's me, Sister Merrell your favorite missionary!
Last Tuesday I went on an exchange with the sister training leaders in Chilhowee. We were in a trio and we went and visited this lady that liked to sit there and argue about the bible so that was intense. Also when we were teaching her, one of the sisters stops in the middle of her sentence and says, "There's a chicken in your house..." THERE WAS A CHICKEN IN THE HOUSE! It was terrifying mainly because it was actually a rooster and those things are crazy. But it was funny. Also when we went to another house there was cockroaches crawling all over the floor, and one crawled up the other sister's dress... so yeah that was pretty tight. The wildlife here in Tennessee is AMAZING.... hahahaha. My exchange was a long day, mainly because it was like having my first day all over again so I probably said 4 words the entire day. I was happy to get home back to Maxine and Sister Weight to eat moose-tracks ice cream.
So there is this guy named George and he lives next door to one of our less actives (Bill). And whenever we go over to Bill's house there is George sitting in a lawn chair drinking a beer and reading the paper. He's so chill. He is a tri-athlete and likes to go bowling. But anyways I gave him a Book of Mormon... and he said thanks and was way nice. And then we saw him later because we see him all the time and he said he didn't want us to teach him. Which made me sad because he's so tight. But hey that's what a lot of the mission is, planting the seeds of the gospel and constantly nourishing them in hope and faith that they will blossom into something beautiful.... but to do that you gotta have patience! So anyways I love George. I want to be like him when I'm old and sit on my lawn in a lawn chair and drink... diet coke... all day.
We had a really great lesson with our investigator Maria the other day. Her kids were gone so it was really individualized. I invited her to be baptized! Which was something that terrified me... but thanks to the spirit I did it! She said it's too soon thought. We asked her what was holding her back from being baptized, and she said she just wanted to make sure it was something she wanted. She said she would talk to her kids and pray about a baptismal date!!!!!!!!!!! HOLLA!!!! The spirit was so strong. I was PUMPED after that lesson.
Well as I mentioned previously we are in a car share area... so this week was a bike week! Which is exhausting because Oak Ridge is so dang hilly!!!! So I finally learned how to use the gears on my bike. Good thing Melissa made me ride my bike all summer so I could be ready to be where I am now! At night we have to wear these reflective vests... which make us look like sanitation workers... which is incredibly disturbing. But oh well I'm adorable.
On Saturday we volunteered at the ecumenical storehouse. Hahahaha it was fun.. and disgusting at the same time!! WOOT WOOT! So it's like basically volunteering at DI but the stuff smells ten million times worse because people who are poor and smoke donate a lot of the stuff. And some of the stuff had dog hair on it. And for those of you who understand me... I probably would have died if I weren't a missionary called of God to serve the people of Tennessee.. I served with a smile though! I just wish I had a clothes pin to put on my nose. One of the ladies puts a blanket up to my face and was like, "SMELL THIS!!" Hahahaha I held my breath but still nearly almost died. It was horrid. But it was so fun being able to help out in the community with those of other faiths. We talked to a lady name Sharon a lot about our church! Who knows, maybe we'll end up teaching her. Planting seeds, planting seeds, planting seeds.
And finally what you all have been waiting for.... Yesterday we were at a ward member's house eating nachos for dinner (the Valdez family). Sister Valdez's dad was there and he had a white beard and such.. He pulls us aside and told us he had a secret identity. HE IS SANTA CLAUS!!! He had a picture of him in his whole getup in his wallet. He makes special appearances to the children at the mall in Knoxville around Christmas time. He said his reindeer were at the north pole though so unfortunately I didn't get to meet any of them. Don't worry I'm okay though, at least I got to meet the REAL SANTA CLAUS!!!

Well I'm about to wrap this one up! We're going hiking for P day with the crazy fools in our district. I love them all so much. Even though one (I won't name names) admitted to playing a lot of world of warcraft before the mission. Baahhahaha. I lurve them sew much! BYE BUDDY I HOPE YOU FIND YOUR DAD!
Sister Merrell

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hi it's me from TENNESSEE!!!

Hi it's me from TENNESSEE!!!

Oh my goodness I am here and I love it!! I am serving in the Melton Lake ward in Oak Ridge, Tennessee! I live with a lady named Maxine in what I think is a mansion. She takes such good care of us! She calls me Cinderella because I guess I look like her... she also thinks I look like Elizabeth Smart so... yeah that's fun. hahaha. I love Maxine so much! She is the best grandma to us and she just so sweet! She makes me eat lots of chocolate pie (future chubby bunny right here represent!!!)
My companion's name is Sister Weight and she is from Provo! We have a few mutual friends and we get along super well! She is such a good trainer... AND SHE HAS ONLY BEEN IN THE FIELD 3 MONTHS!!! We were meant to be. <3
I am in a part car part biking area and it's sweet! My bike is purple. I lurve her. I love the car more though ahhahaha.
So here are the highlights of my week:
The funny stuff:
We saw a man raking his lawn, we turned our car around and got out to ask him if he wanted help. HE YELLED AT US! He said this is why no one wants to be christian because we can't take no for an answer... rude. So when we were leaving I dropped a pass-along card on his lawn that had a picture of Christ on it. HAHAHAHA SUCKERRRR!!! Okay maybe I'm the only who thinks that's funny...
We stopped at a house to visit a less-active. We go in the gate despite the no trespassing sign... the man told us to leave and made sure to mention the sign. We go and get in the car and had to make a phone call. While we were doing that he came outside and put a lock on the gate! Hahahahahah!!!! So funny!
Last night for FHE we went to a member's home and our investigator and her two daughters came. We did s'mores over their new fire pit. I got melted marshmallow in my hair! So then I started sucking on my hair to get it out... Our investigator, Maria (sassy black lady), looks at me and says, "Do you have issues?" I started laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes! AND NOBODY ELSE THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY!!! hahahahahahahaha
The good stuff:
We visited a less active named Bill. He is pretty old and his wife just died. She shared a scripture about hope with him and sang Where Can I Turn For Peace. Then we left. The elders (Elder Parkinson and Elder Arnold my homies for lyfe) went over and shared the same scripture with him and talked about the same things! COINCIDENCES ARE ACTS OF GOD!! Oh man I love it. I love Bill. He is so sweet and he is full of love.
We have gone back to see Bill but he never answers the door... But his neighbor is always on the lawn next door reading the paper! So then I finally decided that we should go next door and talk to him. YESTERDAY I GAVE HIM A BOOK OF MORMON!!! It wasn't even scary it was awesome! He was excited to read my favorite book.
Our investigator Maria and her daughter Maya came to church yesterday! A lady grabbed her face and told her that Gladys Knight was a member too.... I WAS DYING. But anyways Maria loved church! She loved Sunday school! Sister Weight and I taught primary and Maya participated a lot! They are the best family ever! We love them so much! I love Maria's sass!

The end stuff:
I am in love with where I am and I am in love with my life. I have never been so happy. I love feeling the spirit every waking moment and I love seeing others feel the spirit even when they don't even know it's the spirit! I love being obedient because I love making Heavenly Father happy. I love praying and I try to pray as much as I can. I love meeting new people (whether they are nice or mean). I love sharing the happiness of the gospel!!

Love all of you!!!
Sister Merrell

Friday, October 4, 2013

I know you're shocked but... I made it through the first week ya stinkers!

Hi folks, it's me.

The MTC is a roller coaster of happiness. I love it here and I love the friends I've made (even though I could practically be the grandmother of all of the Elders).

Being obedient is hard! I've never done it before (hahaha sorry mom and dad) but seriously... no singing britney spears in the showers, headstands only being allowed in the residence halls, no food in class, having to have your companion come with you when you go to the bathroom 1982739218731927 times during class (tiny blatter probz)....etc. etc. BUT, I am trying to be an extraordinary missionary so I try and keep all the rulez. I go to be EXACTLY at 10:30 and I try my very best to get up on time... hahahahhaah Sister Shannon has to scream in my ear to wake me up and I want to murder her... I love that ginger.

Anyways I just wanted to share a bit from my journal of how uplifting the MTC has been for me. 

Last night something incredibly exciting and wonderful happened. We were in a trio on splits so it was me, Sister Stewart, and Sister Buckley. Brother Vomocil told us to teach our companions on God's love but just as themselves and not an investigators. I felt inadequate and that I wasn't smart enough to teach them something new and just for them. Brother Vomocil saw my struggle and came over. He told me to teach him. I stared at him, but couldn't find any words. He told me he would teach me first. He told me how God loves me very much, he also told me he felt prompted to tell me to pray because Heavenly Father wanted to hear from me. This really touched me because I hadn't been praying and I just felt like I wanted to go home because I missed everyone so much. I needed to pray for comfort, for reassurance that I am here in the MTC preparing to do wonderful things that will change people's lives! The spirit was so strong that tears rolled down my cheeks.

Then it was my turn to teach him. I stared at him again, I had no words, nothing to say. He told me to read the first two sentences and go from there. "God is our Heavenly Father. We are his children." Then I told him that He cares about us so much, and when we are scared about the future he understands and will calm our fears and guide us. The spirit was so strong, Brother Vomocil had tears in his eyes. He told me that that was exactly what he needed to hear. He was scared because his wife is pregnant with their first child and that he is applying for jobs in Alaska. He was so scared of the future. Heavenly Father used ME as an instrument to teach my MTC teacher something. WOW!!! The spirit can speak through me. I was so excited and proud of myself.

This is so tight!!! I LOVE THE MTC!!! I have learned so much!!! Sunday was hard for me because I was homesick when we went on the temple walk. It was like being put in a cage on your front lawn and not being able to go inside your house.. I wanted to go to the mountains and drive the alpine loop to see the fall leaves! But I'm fine now because it snowed and I hate snow so I'll just stay here hahahaha suckers.

I went to the DMV in provo on... I can't remember what day but I drove passed Old Academy and I wanted to jump out of the car and find all my friends. Don't worry I restrained myself!!

My district has the coolest Elders and Sisters! Elder Powers and I share mail to make sure we get mail everyday hahahhaa. I taught everyone in my district the word "woof" so they all say it! LOOOOOVE IT. Sister Shannon and Sister Hamilton are my soul sisters we are crazy together! I am so sad Sister Shannon isn't coming to Tennessee (she is going to North Carolina). On wednesdays we wear pink... Literally. He's a picture. Our Elders are going to Idaho hahahha such homiez I love them. Anyways, I leave at 3:30AM on Tuesday for TENNESSEE!!! WOOOOOOT!! I can't wait!!! Going to be the longest night/day of my lyyyyyfe!!!

Also, I said by to Elder Bergsma and Sister Quinones this week! They are going to be the best missionaries! I got to sit by Elder Bergsma at the move on Sunday night so that was really fun.

Also remember the dude that asked me out the weekend before I left and I couldn't go because I was too busy? HE HAS TAKEN MY MTC TEACHER OUT 3 TIMES!! hahahha I was dying when we realized that.

Okay here's the end! Thank you for all the love and support you wonderful humans!!! EVERYONE REMEMBER TO PRAY!!!! THE POWER OF PRAYER WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!


Sister Merrell

Friday, September 27, 2013


To my fanz:

Hi I'm a missionary and it's real and it's weird but awesome!!!!!

My companion's name is Sister Stewart and she is from Tazmania in AUSTRALIA! So since she is the only international person in our zone that makes us pretty popular and everyone wants to be our homiez. And also because I'm cool too. But anyways she is so fun and sassy and we get along perfectly. She is 19 and she is going to Knoxville too!!! Her hair is so flippin long. Mermaid status. I LOVE HER!!! 

My branch president thinks I'm awesome because he told me I'm a fun quick wit. But everyone already knew that. Hahahahaha. But anyways he is crazy because he called me to be the sister training leader, so I am in charge of all the sisters in our district and I meet with the zone and district leaders and next week I will have to do stuff for sisters in a different zone. I still gotta read my packet thing so I know exactly what I do... hahaha It was definitely a shock for me to be called and I laughed when he told me (in front of everyone.. he didn't tell me in private first) everyone in the zone thought my reaction was funny too.

So getting to the MTC made all my anxiety go away. Like I had been so cranky and pouty and sassy since I got my call because everyday I was so scared of coming here. BUT NOW I'M HERE! And it is so awesome here. I forgot what not feeling anxious felt like and it's so nice!  But sometimes I get really Hangry or I am tired... but then I go to gym and it's soooooooo fun!! We play bball like Troy Bolton on HSM!!! If it stops raining every second we will go play soccer or baseball or kickball or somethinggggg.

The first day we had an awesome meeting where we had these people acting like investigators and we watched some people teach them but then we had to jump in as an audience and finish the lesson... yeah I didn't say anything but it was really cool because it was real missionary work! People with life stories and families that need the gospel. It made me so pumped to get to Tennessee!

My teachers are kewl. Sister Murray and Brother... scrunchy face I can't remember what the heck his name is. But Sister Murray is so pretty and smart and perfect and if Matt were taller I would make them get married. Also we have a guy observing our class and he sometimes teaches... yeah it's Matt Widmer my friend from freshman year hahahahahhahahaa so flippin weird. I know everyone here in the MTC. HOMIES 4 DAYZZZ!

Anyways I would like to do a special shout out to my homiez that have written me already! THANKS SO MUCH!! It makes me soooooooo happy! And also just a note if you leave your return address as -who are we kidding you aren't writing me back- I PROBABLY WON'T WRITE YOU BACK BECAUSE YOU TAMPERED WITH THE FORCES OF NATURE... YOU ARE TAKING AWAY MY AGENCY!!! You know who you are... give me your address hahaha. 

Oh wait, guess what? There is a tree here that smells like cream soda so we go out as a zone and smell it and it's what cool people do so that's not weird.

Well that's about all I have to share. The MTC is a peaceful place and even more peaceful when you are a missionary. I am doing so well, I made it through yesterday! Everyone that I saw yesterdaty told me day two is the hardest and sucks... and they were kinda wrong and kinda right. It was fine I was just tired because I hadn't slept like at all the night before. But whatever sleep is over rated... hahahhahaha lies. 

Okay this is the end for real! Until next P-Day! (Friday)

Love you long time!


Sister Merrell

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Farewell

I had my farewell today! So many people came to support me! It was amazing!

And my friends (who know me better than anyone in the world) made sure to wear matching outfits because they know how much I dig twinning!

Seriously these girls are the best friends in the world! I have nothing but good things to say about them. 

I also decided to take advantage of taking pictures with all the guys individually to ensure a feeling of awkwardness when I return in 18 months and they are all married! 

If it looks like I am dating all of them... it's because I am....duh.

Thanks to everyone who came!!!!!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Hi. This Blog Exists. And This Post Will Tell You Why.

Hi. My name is Andrea Kate Merrell and I have been called to serve as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!

 I have been assigned to serve in the Tennessee Knoxville mission teaching in the English Language. I depart September 25th, 2013 and will return sometime at the end of March in 2015.

(I received my call on June 26, 2013)
This blog is called the Only Ten You See because once people found out that I was assigned to labor in Tennessee everyone on the planet Earth insisted on cracking that joke every 5 seconds non-stop.

So I'm hoping that I'm the only ten that you see (4 realz)... but not really because I don't care about that I just think it's funny and grabs people's attention. 

What I'm really hoping is that you can find great entertainment in my journey to bring the gospel to the people of Tennessee. And that you can stay updated with my life even if you are too lazy to write me (but I hope you aren't)!

And who knows, maybe you'll learn something too!