Thursday, July 30, 2015

Less Acitve? Not for long!

Hey ya'll. 

This week we had zone conference which is amazing. It just pumps you up for missionary work and makes you want to be the best missionary possible. During zone conference President Bennion told us to focus on less actives rather than Tracting. And if the less actives aren't home, ask their neighbors when the best time to catch them is. "Your neighbors are part of our church. Our church teaches to love our neighbor. Do you love your neighbor? Oh, by the way we are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Lol. President is funny. (: 

By focusing on the less actives we have seen so many miracles and now we have a good amount of potential investigators. My favorite experience from stopping in on less actives was probably with Sister Mandi Mower who was actually a DNC (do not contact). We had a feeling to stop in on her the other night. As we pulled up to the house we saw she and her 11 year old son Riley, outside loading up the car with boxes and random things. As awkward as it is going up to someone when they're busy, we prayed for enough faith and courage to do so. We hopped out of the car and walked up to her asking if this was where the Mower's lived. "Not anymore" she said. "I'm moving." We started talking to her about where she was moving (which is still in ward boundaries), and if she needed help unpacking her new house. She told us she had had a bad experience with someone in the ward and stopped coming, but her son is looking into 'churches' and she asked him if he wanted to learn about Mormons. He said he did- and Sister Mower told us that we could come visit her and her son in their new home this week. It's just a testimony builder to me that we don't give up on any of our brothers and sisters , even if they tell you not to come back. Give them a break, then try again. You never know how Heavenly Father is preparing them. 

Another night, Chelsea came out with us and we had a long list of less actives to visit. We prayed and decided to visit the Backus family. We weren't having a lot of success up to this point and we had never been able to get in with the Backus family. They were always gone when we had tried to stop by previously. So we weren't sure what would happen. But we felt we should go. We pulled up in front of his home and before getting out of the car Chelsea offered a prayer! We were all sitting there while Chelsea is Praying and As soon as the words, "please bless someone in the Backus family to be home." Leaves her mouth a car pulls into the driveway!! It was an answered prayer right in front of our eyes! We get out and walk to the car. Brother Backus was excited to see us, but told us he did not have a lot of time to talk he was only home for a couple min to get ready to fly out to work for the weekend. Brother Backus had just recently finalized a divorce with his wife. So, it was just he and his two girls living at home right now. They haven't been going to church and he shared with us his desire to get them involved with activities in the church. The girls are both in high school and don't have the best of friends. We talked to him about mutual and the Young Women program and about the awesome young women in the ward. He told us once he got back he wanted us to meet up with him and his two daughters! He wanted us to teach them and get them more involved in the church! He shared with us his number and a time for us to come back! Wow what a miracle! The Lord answers prayers! We are excited to start working with Brother Backus and his girls.

Another miracle I saw this week was with our Spanish investigator Biri. We found her about a month and a half ago, we couldn't really understand each other because of the language barrier but we gave her a Mormon.org card with our phone number on it and went on Tracting. A couple days later we receive a call from her, telling us to come over. We do, and we try to share a message with her, but again, language barrier- and it was difficult to understand. However, we gave her a Spanish Book of Mormon and followed Sister Bennion's advice to 'always sing a song in a lesson', so we did so that she could feel the spirit. The next week we gave her over to the Spanish elders so they could better teach and understand her. Meanwhile, a sister moved into the ward from Peru, had us over for dinner and we all really connected. We love her so much. Sister Morgan. A couple weeks later the Spanish elders gave Biri back to us because it was too far out of their way to come and teach her. But because we had gained that relationship with sister Morgan, we asked her to call Biri on the phone and talk to her. Biri had told sister Morgan that she didn't have any friends here and that she needed a ride to church. Biri and sister Morgan are now pretty good friends and the friendship will continue to grow. I learned that sometimes we have to be patient because the Lord is preparing ways for people to find friendship and find the gospel. 

I'm really loving being a missionary and helping others come unto Jesus Christ. It's probably the best thing anyone could ever do, and I highly recommend it. People are prepared. The tricky part is finding them. 

Love, Sister Merritt 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Good Move



Hey you guys.

This week has been so busy I don't even remember what happened. We had an unbelievable amount of bible bashers this week- apparently the Baptist Church around here (with around 15,000 people) decided to tell everyone that Mormons believe that we can all can become Gods (true, but they need to know how and why- our doctrine). Awesome. It's a tough one when they start getting into deep doctrine of their own. And all we can do is bear testimony and move on.

We put Jennifer on date! Her scheduled baptism date is August 15th. She is so prepared and has an unshakable testimony. The only thing that could hold her back is coming to church. She could really use your prayers that hopefully she can get more Sundays off from work.

We haven't really found anybody new to teach yet. Still in the finding process. But we hope to be able to find someone soon. We have tons of potentials, everybody is just so busy in the summer. We are still teaching our 14 year old investigator, Stephanie. She's adorable. We asked her if she was able to read the reading assignment we gave her out of the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She said that she did with her friend and she felt it was true. It made us extremely happy. We also went over to help Jeanie organize one of her rooms. Both us and the elders have been helping her and reading out of the Book of Mormon together, but when we went back to see her, she told us she was on chapter 17 of 1 Nephi and she gets chills every time she reads it. She'll be baptized soon enough. We just have to practice our faith. Through our faith we can see miracles.

Today we moved from our apartment into a members home. Let me tell you how HAPPY we are to be out of that apartment. That apartment had been lived in for 10 years by elders. No sisters. Just elders. It was so gross and run down. Plus it was 2 miles out of our area. So we are glad to be out of there.

My new address is:

Sister Mikel Merritt
2704 Green Castle Way
Marietta, GA 30062

Well. Have a great week ya'll.

Love, Sister Merritt

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baptism


HELLO.


Okay, this week has been crazy busy because first, Chelsea got baptized!! And second, we had to find a new apartment which has been a pain.

So, Chelsea's baptism was amazing. It was so peaceful and the spirit was so strong. She had this light around her and her smile was glued to her face. It was so wonderful to see her make this first step to be baptized into Jesus Christ's church. She has such a desire to do what's right. Right after her baptism we had to get back to work and start finding more people to teach. And rather than celebrating with her friends, Chelsea came out tracting with us. It was so wonderful to contact and teach lessons with someone who hasn't grown up in the church because her testimony was able to help so many people. She is so great. And we love her. 

This week I have learned what a powerful tool the Book of Mormon is in conversion. We've had many experiences with explaining what the Book of Mormon was to so many people this week. 

On the Fourth of July we met this cute couple who let us right into their home to explain the Book of Mormon. The wife was so excited about it and asked if she could buy one. When we gave it to her free of charge she was even more excited. When we went back to visit her last night, she wasn't home, but her husband said they have been reading it together and they want us to come back and teach them. 

As we were knocking on these doors in a street we prayerfully picked out, we weren't seeing much success. Nobody was interested in hearing our message. It was a little frustrating but we knew we were led here for a reason, and we still had some houses left. At one of the houses an older lady named Sandra invited us in. She told us that she had met with missionaries before when she lived in Pennsylvania 8 years ago and they had given her a Book of Mormon. She proceeded to tell us that she still has never read the Book of Mormon but she has it on her nightstand right next to her bed with her bible. She keeps it by her bed because she knew it was a special book. And although she hasn't read it yet, at least she knows it's special. Reading it is just the next step. That's what we're here to help her do. 

We also were able to go to dinner with our "tribe sister" Kimberly. We went to this Thai food restaurant that Kimberly absolutely loves and our waitress was very kind and helpful. When the waitress (Anastasia) was gathering our plates after we were through eating she noticed the Book of Mormon we had on the table. "I have seen that book before, I want to read it," she told us. She then told us that she used to see the missionaries all the time in Russia where she is from but hasn't seen them here very much. Kimberly wants to be a missionary so very badly and explained the Book of Mormon to Anastasia. We gave the book to her to keep with our phone number and church address written inside. It was so wonderful to see her pick up the Book of Mormon so gently and walked off looking at it to put in her bag, thanking us multiple times. 

Our investigator Jeanie who was so sure was never going to convert is now reading the Book of Mormon after the elders and us have been reading it with her. She's now coming to church willingly and wants to take the lessons.

The Book of Mormon is so important and I think I have been taking it for granted. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission and see lives change. It starts with reading the Book of Mormon and taking Moroni's challenge to pray to know for yourself if it's true. I promise that when you do this, you will receive an answer that is undeniable.

Love,

Sister Merritt





video

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week of the Fourth


Hey ya'll.

I hope everyone had a fabulous fourth! I had a wonderful day for sure. We were able to meet. Lot of new people which was nice. No BBQS or picnics or parties though. Just tracting. Good 'ol tracting.

So SURPRISE, Chelsea is getting baptized FRIDAY!!! She's ready to be baptized, she's practically a member already. I think she knows more than I do about the church.. She's even come out to lessons with us and she's been tracting and everything. I'm so excited for her <3

We've been working with a less active named Kim, it's hard to explain Kim. She thinks everything is a sign. And when I mean everything I mean EVERYTHING. She calls us her tribe sisters because we all come from the tribe of ephraim. (It's a sign that we're meant to work with her). She goes to the temple and the church and just sits in her car and prays. She loves the hardback Book of Mormon because you see more miracles from them. She's cute. We're lucky to work with her. She's been coming back to church and staying ALL 3 meetings which is great! She's working on getting a temple recommend right now, so that's what we're helping her with.

We've gotten in with a lot of less actives this week. It's interesting to find out why people have stopped coming to church. Kind of sad actually. I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week in alma 49 when the Lamanites were going to invade the Nephites. The Lamanites knew the Nephites weak spots and planned to attack there. Moroni knew they were coming too, and built walls up around their cities and strengthened their weak areas so the Lamanite's stones and arrows could not get in.

I feel like we can relate to this. The adversary knows our weak spots and he's going to attack. But if we strengthen our weak spots with things like church attendance, prayer and scripture study the adversary can't get in. I'm so grateful to be here in my area on a mission. I'm grateful that I can help these people realize how important it is to nourish our spirits each and every day and to learn that for myself. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. I absolutely love being a missionary and I hope everyone gets the chance to be (:


Love,
Sister Merritt


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TIRElessly loving Georgia!

Hey ya'll,

This week just flew by. I've been in Georgia for 1 month (: so I had my follow up meeting with all my cute MTC district! It was so much fun to see them all again. Monday night we went to the church with our cute investigator Chelsea for her to receive a priesthood blessing of comfort. When we walked outside to leave we realize she had locked the keys in her car and she also had a flat tire. We definitely could not call her parents because they're against the church and HELLO she's parked in the church parking lot so we called some people to come get the keys out. Apparently they aren't as speedy quick as Jimmy Johns so we waited at the church for 4 hours. FOUR. When the guy finally gets there he unlocks the door and we ask him to change the tire too. WELL I guess people have to be certified to do that kind of dangerous business so he said adios and left us three little girls to fend for ourselves at way past curfew). Of course we could've called the elders but we didn't want to seem weak you know? So we manned up and did it ourselves. THATS RIGHT FOLKS, I CHANGED A TIRE. Thank you thank you.

We taught Jennifer this week. She's so cute, we love her. She has been praying for answers about if the things we have been teaching her are true. She has just felt like she's not getting an answers. The other night she called us and told us that her husband did NOT approve of her taking the lessons and that he didn't want their kids to be Mormons because he didn't want them to be made fun of. She told us that she was defending the church, the priesthood and Joseph Smith. She then told us that she knew these things were true. By defending herself she received the answer she had been praying for. We were so excited for her.

We got two less actives back to church this week. HUGE blessing. This week has just been filled with finding people. A lot of potentials here in the south that work all. the. time. But they're ready. We just have to get in with them and start teaching. The church is true. The book is blue. Keep reading it ya'll (:

Love, Sister Merritt