Monday, March 21, 2016


Hey y'all:

So transfer news: I will be going to Monroe and finish training Sister Palmer! I don't know too much about her. But I do know she is just darling. I will also be serving as a Sister Training Leader. I'm excited. Plus I'm still in the same zone so that's good because the Athens zone is THE absolute greatest. (:

We were able to get 12 investigators to church. TWELVE. It was crazy trying to make sure everyone was taken care of, but they all loved it!

We have been able to see way too many miracles this week. EVERYONE wants to be baptized! WOO. When I first got to Athens we met a lady named Glenda and her 10 year old son. They seemed really interested but could never get in contact with them, so we ended up having to drop them. But this week we had an impression to stop in on them. Victor (the 10 year old) has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and wants to learn more. So we have visited Glenda and Victor every day this week. We brought them to a baptism and Glenda talked to us afterward "So I was thinking, could victor and I be baptized?"

We also met this great guy named Jacob who had met with missionaries 15 years ago in Alabama. We have met with him a couple of times this past week and we brought up baptism. "Baptism! I've been baptized before. Come to think of it, it may have been in your church! If I did get baptized into your church, does that make me a Mormon?" "Yes." He grins really big and says "that's exciting!" So he comes to church this past Sunday and LOVES it and says he would really like to come back every week, which of course we agreed with.  Well we asked the ward clerk to see if Jacob was a member and HE IS. We found a long lost less active who loves church, so that's exciting. We're just confused as to how you go about forgetting if you've been baptized or not?? Weird.

We also met a woman named Brittany. She's a single mom of 4 and super sweet. She let us in allowed us to teach her the restoration and asked right off if she could be baptized. So yay!! We didn't have to ask anyone to be baptized this week. They all just want to!

Speaking of baptism... It's amazing being able to see lives completely change when their faith in Jesus Christ starts to grow. We met Herman when he was living with some recent converts when I first got to Athens. He was very shy, wouldn't look at us when we talked to him, didn't keep any of the commitments we left him, and whenever we came he would have a cigarette in his mouth. We don't know why we kept going back. He didn't even seem interested in learning. But for some reason we kept going back. Well, the landlord was going to sell the house. The recent converts found a new small place to live, but Herman wasn't able to. He went back in his tent, which he had lived in for 5 years before living with the members. He was homeless. We kept meeting with him. We would meet just out on the streets, or in McDonald's, or in members homes when we could. We eventually found out he had a big problem with drugs, alcohol, and the law of chastity. We brought him to the 12 step addiction recovery programs, read the Book of Mormon with him and the elders gave him a blessing. He came to church every week, wore his camo (the only thing he owned) but wouldn't talk to anybody and would sit in the back of every class. We kept meeting with him. We would teach him little by little and over and over again until he understood. Eventually he prayed for us, he started reading the Book of Mormon on his own, he stopped doing drugs and drinking, he found an apartment. He was changing. Or should I say, the gospel was changing him. He wanted to be baptized! We went through a lot of interviews. A member of the mission presidency told us to wait for 3 months to a year to have him be baptized. He also thought it was best if the elders started to teach him instead.. We were disappointed, but we obeyed. 3 months later, though, brings us to Saturday. Herman was finally able to be baptized. It was the most spiritual experience I have ever had and his testimony of the gospel is so strong. I have a strong testimony that Heavenly Father loves each of us. The gospel is for everyone and it can change lives if we allow it to.

Love y'all!!

Sister Merritt

Our Methodist ministry friends. (:

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