Monday, August 25, 2014


NASCAR in Bristol Tennessee/Virginia

Hey hey y'all!

11 months of being a missionary today! Weird to think about! It's weird to imagine my life if I hadn't come on a mission, I can't imagine missing out on all of the experiences that I've had. This week has been absolutely insane due to the NASCAR race at the motor speedway; 185,000 fans were there! There was so much traffic and when we had to drive passed the stadium (about 5 times) people would just dart into the middle of the road. It was crazy!

We saw Travis and Katie early on in the week and followed up about church. They told us how they weren't really "feeling it" at church and that they feel the spirit more strongly in their church. It really made me think about how we are converted. We obviously are converted when we approach God with a humble heart and he touches us with his spirit. So how do we approach God? By reading The Book of Mormon and praying to know it is true! I love the introduction, it's an instruction guide to be converted:

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah."

When we read, ponder and ask we can understand Christ and his atonement, know Joseph Smith is the prophet who restored the priesthood to the earth, and that being Mormon is the best way to be prepared for the second coming of Christ! We hope that Travis and Katie can understand this and find their answers.

We taught Bobby this week and oh boy was it a treat! We brought Brother Craft, he the most hilarious 85 year old that I have ever met! He assured Bobby that the ward would take care of him and then he took all of us up to the 10th floor of apartment complex so he could introduce Bobby to Brother Collins and arrange for Bobby to drive Brother Collins to church. Hahaha it was so awesome.
We had a good lesson with Andrew and he is still on for his baptism on September 13th! We were able to talk about temples and it was a really great lesson!

We went to go see Brenda, a recent convert that hasn't been active since her baptism back in December. We taught her the Plan of Salvation with our newly made visual. She really understood as we taught simply. She felt loved, which is something that she doesn't feel to often due to her unfortunate circumstances. We taught the lesson and then we helped her clean her kitchen. She didn't know how to act, it seemed like no one had ever helped her before. Yesterday, Sister Richard gave a talk in sacrament meeting about happiness and she shared this quote by Dr. Seuss:

"Unless someone like you, cares a whole awful lot, it's not going to get better, no it's not." 

This quote made me think about Brenda. My love for this woman has been increasing each time we meet with her and it's not because we relate well or have exciting conversation when we go. It's because she is someone that God has asked me to love. I want things to get better for her, and the best way for that to happen is for her to have a strong testimony of the gospel and an understanding of Christ's atonement. The best way for that to happen is to have support. We have been bringing Sister Tedrick with us to see Brenda, and she is that amazing support because she is a huge example of charity.

Well I wish I had time to write more, but I don't. Ha. I love all of you!

Sister Andrea Kate Merrell  

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