Thursday, July 31, 2014

Double Whammy Baptism and Schwaby's Birthday Bash

Hey y'all!!

This week was really good! Sister Schwab, my beloved friend who used to be in my district when I was in Oak Ridge came with me on exchange on her birthday! We had a great time celebrating her 21 years of life. We set an alarm for midnight so we could wake up and I sprayed silly string all over her and gave her a cupcake. We had an eventful day of missionary work too (don't you worry). We went and addressed some of Theron's concerned (earlier this week he had told us that he wasn't getting baptized on the 26th which was disappointing but we're still hopeful). We think we helped him overcome the things he was worried about but we aren't too sure. It was a good lesson though! We saw Don and we had a great lesson with him too. I was excited that she got to come to the salvation army to serve dinner. She loved it. It was a really good day.

Saturday came pretty quickly and Sister Stanton and Rick were baptized. Sister Stanton went first, she nearly drowned because her husband had no idea what he was doing. He put his hand on the back of her neck and his other hand to the square. It was so nerve racking and she was freaking out. Her face said it all. But she went under and she came back up and she was still alive AND she was cleansed of her sins. Double whammy. It all worked out. Rick's went more smoothly. The ward loves both of them so much and there was a great turn out! It was awesome.

Transfers are on Wednesday so I will be getting a new companion. Sister Neil is leaving! She is getting ready to go HOME and it's so weird. I was watching her pack earlier and it was the strangest thing of my life. I am kind of nervous to be the seasoned veteran of Bristol. I will probably get lost a million times but oh well. This retired cop who lives in our neighborhood gave me my own can of pepper spray so if I get in any sketchy situations I will be well prepared. It advises on the can, "ESCAPE IMMEDIATELY AND CALL POLICE. DO NOT TRY AND CAPTURE THE ATTACKER." So yeah I'll probably pray about that.

Anyways I love you all and I hope you're all having a great summer break. It's almost over! I'm glad because then when we drive by the lake in Piney Flats I won't have to close my eyes and pretend I don't see anyone boating hahahaha.


Sister Andrea Kate Merrell

Monday, July 21, 2014

Baby Kate, The Last Samurai, and Maple Manor


This week we've just been working with our future recent converts! Rick came to dinner at an awesome member family's, the Tedricks, house. He really enjoyed it. Also the Tedricks named their new dog after me! Isn't she cute!? Her name is Kate! 
Rick has really felt like everything is getting in the way of him getting baptized. He has been fighting off temptations like a boss though! He hasn't had a cigarette in 2 weeks! WOW! That's a pun get it?? Like WOW and W.O.W.. (Word of Wisdom). It's funny because it's fun.

Sister Stanton is a sweetheart and has been ready for forever. She's amazing. Theron has overcome lots of obstacles that he has faced. He said he had prayed about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, etc. and he just felt good about everything. He doesn't felt like he's had an overwhelming feeling but he does know he's going in the right direction and that's enough. He'll receive the overwhelming confirmation at his baptism.

We saw Don and he told us that he got emotional at the baptism for the little boy in our ward that he came to last week. What???? We told him that was the spirit testifying of truth. He told us he just got emotional because he does when he watches the movie the Last Samurai... Dangit he just needs to trust that God is trying to guide him with the spirit!

Hi. It's me and I live at maple manor (look at this place).
 It used to be this huge house/mansion that they made into an apartment complex. It's super old. SUPER OLD. And it's a lil bit nasty but that's okay because your apartment should be the hubs of hell on your mission anyways so you shouldn't spend much time there am I right or am I right???

I love your faces people! And your emails! And your letters! Thanks for being the best fan club ever! Keep CTRing and stuff! LOVE Y'ALL!!!!

Sister Andrea Kate Merrell

Friday, July 18, 2014

Investig8rs R Kewl

Hi it's me!


It seemed like every time that we met with Sister Stanton the reoccurring theme that she pulled from her reading assignments was humility. That was totally the spirit talking to her because we honestly would just give her the standard missionary reading assignments that we give to all of our investigators. When we went to meet with her this week she told us that the spirit has told her that this is the way that she needs to go. IT WAS SO AWESOME! She felt she got her answer when she was at church, she came to relief society for the first time and the lesson had a tangent about not caring what others think and focusing on caring what God thinks. She took this as her answer that she needs to not care about what the people at her church would think if she became Mormon. She's getting baptized on the 26th with Rick and Theron. That's a testimony builder for receiving revelation at church that's for sure!

Theron really respects Ryan, the member that we've been bringing over when we meet with him. Ryan recently returned from his mission and is great at explaining things exactly tailored to Theron's needs. Theron had a lot of freaky random questions at our lesson yesterday (he probably bumped into some anti literature) I honestly was just shocked and couldn't speak. Ryan went right to work addressing all of the concerns and did a great job. It was awesome. Theron said he's still working towards his baptism on the 26th so that's still happening! Phew what a relief!

Rick when out of town to go to the beach for the week so he was MIA. He got back on Saturday, we know because we drove passed his house and his car was there. We went to say hi and then we invited him to church. He told us he was tired from his trip but we were very persuasive. Guess what? He came! Yayyayaya! He is progressing beautifully towards his baptism date on the 26th!

I have a dictionary in the apartment because I love looking the definition of simple words that we use in Mormon culture. I was flipping through it and reading random definitions to Sister Neil before bed the other night and I flipped to the page that had the word "Savior". The 2nd definition said Jesus Christ. Hmmm this sounded perfect for Don who needs a logical explanation for everything. The dictionary even knows that Christ is our Savior. We showed him at our lesson that we had with him on Saturday. It was cool. It really made him think. He came to a baptism for a little boy in the ward that happened after church yesterday. He even brought brownies. After the baptism we told him that he's next... he said.. okay... It was a somewhat agreeable okay! He's going to be baptized and be a bishop someday, we just know it!

We met the new mission president on Friday, President Griffin! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! My interview with him so amazing. You can really tell that he has the spirit with him and he is 100% in tune. I never thought I wouldn't love him as much as I love President Irion but hey, they are both really cool! President Griffin brought his 3 daughters with him. The youngest one is 8. They are all really cute and funny. The Griffins are the

I am completely out of time! I love y'all! Thanks for the love! Also today is my 5/6th birthday. In 2 month's I'll turn 21... again! Yeah I'm forever 21 like the store. So there's that!


Sister Andrea Kate Merrell

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Hey y'all!

Good news. I survived the 4th of July in Tennessee. If ya didn't know, hillbillies LOVE to make firework bombs and explode them in the hills. We heard them all night this week, especially when we were driving home on the 4th.

So have you been wondering how my missionary 4th of July went? Let me tell ya! We had a ward activity in the morning complete with a presentation on the history of America by Brother Stanton (Sister Stanton helped with most of that but shhh that's a secret). We played corn hole and ate hot dogs outside of the church. Our investigator, Don brought burritos for everyone and they were a hit! We then had district meeting. Then in the evening we went a member's house (the Youngblood family) and ate more hot dogs and did fireworks with another member family (the Filettis). It was so much fun! The Youngbloods live up in the hills so we kept hearing their neighbors explode things. There's also a brothel down the street... they told us it's called "Aunt Ruthie's"... I was laughing so hard but then someone corrected them and said it's called "Suga Mama". Hahahahhaaha sorry that's just some random info for ya!

This week has been blooming with success. Theron (Sister Stanton's grandson) came to the 4th of July activity. Everyone in the ward loves him. He also really enjoyed church on Sunday. After church we went over to teach him the Plan of Salvation. We brought Ryan a member who really hit it off with him at church; they're the same age and they went to high school together. Ryan helped so much with the teaching of the lesson. We were able to commit Theron to baptism on the 26th! The same day as Rick! Awesome huh!??

Met with Don on Saturday. I don't know if I've ever talked about him but he has no religious background. He struggles to comprehend that Jesus Christ could be our Savior. He doesn't recognize the spirit even when we point it out. BUT on Saturday we tried teaching him with a different approach. He always tells us how great he thinks the church is, how friendly the people are, how great the missionary program is, etc. We told him these are the fruits that he is recognizing from God and Jesus Christ's true church. If it's a good thing then why not join, right? We left him that to think about. He came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. He hadn't been in the time that I've been in Bristol so we were really excited. We did some bird-dogging beforehand and made sure the members were extra friendly and inviting. It was splendid. We're starting to see some progress in him that hadn't been there for a while.

We get to meet our new mission president on Friday so I'll let y'all know how that goes. We're pumped!

Keep being awesome! I love y'all!!

Sister Andrea Kate Merrell