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