Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Hey y'all,

What another incredible week! Summer is over for the kids here. School started TODAY. It's so crazy how fast the summer flew by. Before we know it, it'll be time for school to be out.

We have been trying to think of more creative ways to contact people, because tracting is not the ideal thing to do. We have been counseled to "go where the people are." Do you know where they are? We do! They're all playing Pokemon Go! This game has actually been a bit of a tender mercy for us because we are able to go to the parks where EVERYONE is "catching Pokemon" and do free lemonade stands. We have been able to contact so many people this way! Also, because school started, Walmart was a madhouse. But a wonderful place for us to contact 😅👌🏼 we are trying to think of other creative ways to contact so if you know any, please let me know!

This week we were able to find, teach, commit to a baptism date, and get to church three amazing investigators. Last Sunday as we were tracting we saw three people, Mike, Nadia, and Ben, outside walking down the street. Although we had just come from that direction we felt like we needed to go talk to them. Nadia and Ben didn't know much about the church but Mike expressed how he hates Mormons and everything they believe. When we asked why he couldn't give us a straight answer so he said he would listen to what we had to say. None of them have a strong relationship with God and feel like God isn’t there at all because of their rough past. We did HTBT right then and there, promising them that the message we share will help to improve the quality of their lives and we began teaching them about Gods love for each of them. They agreed to meet with us the next day.

The next day, we meet all three of them again and to be honest it started off really rough. We taught the plan of salvation but they were all so distracted the whole time, asking really off-the-wall questions, and just swearing all the time. But we were patient with them. Toward the end of the lesson, they calmed down and began to focus asking us how in the world we stayed so patient and kind with them. We were surprised to find out that they understood and retained everything we had talked with them about during the lesson and they wanted to meet again the next day! We said a prayer at the end and they thanked us for coming.

The next day as we go over to their house and...they cancel on us. So we followed our mission presidents counsel to stay in the area and contact people who are there. We meet their neighbor Steve, who is so kind and wants to learn more about God. We have a good discussion with him and set up a time the next day to visit him. We visit him at our appointed time and try to have a lesson with him, but he was taking care of 5 crazy kids, apologized and asked to reschedule. As we walk outside, there is Mike, Nadia and Ben! They sit down on the curb and
ask to learn more about how our church started. We didn't really have anywhere to sit other than the road, so that's what we did. The spirit was so strong as we taught and testified of the restoration and the Book of Mormon. They were focused the whole time, which is a miracle in and of itself! Halfway through the lesson, Steve steps outside,sees that we are sitting on the ground and grabs us two chairs and has his kids bring us some water (tender mercy), there are people looking gout for us everywhere. We invite Mike, Nadia, and Ben to be baptized and they all say YES! At the end of the lesson Nadia was the one asking if we could end with a prayer and Mike was the one who wanted to say it. It was the most beautiful prayer we had ever heard as he asked if God is there, and if He was, if he could guide them to truth and light. The spirit was undeniable.

Sunday, they all show up to church and absolutely love it. Especially the members, making them feel so welcome, inviting them into their homes for dinner and lessons. The gospel has completely changed them in just the short week we have known them. We can't wait to see their lives continue to change!!

There are people being prepared everywhere we go! We just have to open our mouths (: I hope y'all have a great week!

Love, Sister Merritt

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Hey y'all!

August 1st

Wow, what a week it has been. I feel like it has just flown by! I was so so so sad to leave my Monroe Ward. It has truly been heaven. I haven't been out of the Athens stake since the beginning of my mission and I was a little scared to leave that too. But here I am in the Lilburn stake in the Dacula 1st ward and I'm as happy as ever. It’s just as wonderful over here!

I have a new companion! Sister Gifford is amazing! She has such a wonderful understanding of the gospel and her first day she was teaching and starting door approaches. She has really been able to help a lot of people here already. I know she was sent to this area for a reason. The ward needs her! I'm so grateful to be with her and to have the opportunity to learn from her.

So it was a little sad to me to go from having a full and thriving area book, full of progressing investigators to absolutely nothing. But the work has already picked up here a lot!

On our first day here we were going around to less actives, getting to know them and tracking around their homes. As we were walking down the street we notice a woman sitting on her porch. Knowing we need to talk to everyone we start a conversation with her and teach about the Book of Mormon. She listens to us openly and we set up a return appointment for the next day, leaving her a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read before we come back. The next morning we text Imani to confirm our appointment and she replies telling us that she is no longer interested but we are more than welcome to come take the Book of Mormon back. We knew we never wanted to do that, but we saw this as an in to still go over and see her and understand why she wasn’t interested anymore. At our set time to see Imani, she wasn't home. We were disappointed but started to try some potentials that lived around her. All of a sudden we had the strongest impression that we needed to go back to our car and get the phone. So that's what we did. Right afterward we look up and see Imani sitting on her porch with the Book of Mormon in her hands. She tried to hand the Book of Mormon back to us but we just asked her questions to try to know what happened. She the began asking us questions about what we believed, specifically the questions of the soul, "Where did we come from? Where do we go after we die?" We teach and testify of the plan of salvation and she begins to agree with everything we say. The spirit was so strong and tears begin to well up in her eyes. By the end of the lesson, she asks if she could hold onto the Book of Mormon for awhile.

I truly believe that the spirit has touched her. My testimony has grown on our purpose as missionaries. I know that part of our purpose is helping these people feel the spirit, we aren't doing our job if the spirit isn't present. And if the spirit is there, they are able to understand and learn what Heavenly Father wants to teach them. I know that myself, as an individual, is completely inadequate to do the Lords work. But I'm so grateful that He gives me the opportunity to try to help the best I can and I know with the Spirits help, we can touch the heart of the individuals we teach.

There are many other amazing people that we have found in the short time that we have been here. Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much with the amount of kindness that has been shown to us. I love this work. There is nothing like it. It has completely changed my life forever.

Love, Sister Merritt

Etched into the sidewalk randomly. The church is true. Heavenly Father

is providing signs for people everywhere (;

The Only Constant...

Hey y'all! 

July 25th

So I thought I was safe. Like, I thought I would stay in the Monroe Ward until I went home. President even told me that I would. We received a text message from President telling us to call him sometime that night. Immediately our minds race trying to figure out what we did wrong or what could have happened. When we got in that night he told us the craziness. So I will no longer be in the Monroe Ward but I will whitewash train in Dacula and become and STL again. But not only that, but I won't leave on normal transfer day, but I will leave the morning before so I can go to the mission home and be a Sister AP for the day as I take care of the incoming sisters. Of course I'm excited, but also a little bit nervous. It's just so much change all at once. I'm truly going to miss Monroe. I love it here! 

Friday we all had to get up super early to go to the training meeting. There were 5 sisters there and 30 elders, so we felt a little out of place but it was so fun to see everyone. We learned a lot from President Bennion. He is such a wise man filled with so much love. I truly feel so grateful to have such an amazing mission President!

Right after the training meeting we drove an hour and a half to UGA. Our poor Sister Training Leader has been trying to go on exchange with us all transfer long and we have been rescheduling every single week because we have been so busy, or something has always come up where we needed to be in our area. So our STL got President's permission to have all three of us come up to campus and help out with a booth. Weeelllll we got there super late because of the meeting, but were there to help take down the booth and make the long 2 mile trek back to the institute building. As we were walking up the hill, the big, heavy whiteboard that we were rolling back decided to completely fall apart. So there we were, the hottest day of the week, 100% humidity, walking up a hill, carrying heavy boxes, sweat dripping from our faces and now we have a broken whiteboard that we can no longer roll, but must carry. It took us 10x longer to get to the institute building and the best part is the whiteboard had "Mormon.org" in big letters plastered across it... so we were portraying ourselves well to people driving by and seeing us struggle. It was definitely an adventure though, we had fun and just laughed the whole time. 

Saturday we had a baptism for a nine year old boy, Jeremiah. I absolutely love this kid. We have been working with him ever since I got to the area. His mother is a member and very very sick. He pretty much takes care of his dying mother who loves him so much. They have the most precious relationship I've ever seen. Jeremiah has wanted to be baptized for so long, but was waiting for his mother to get better. Last week Jeremiah's mom sat him down and told him that she isn't going to be getting better and he needed the strength and comfort that comes through being a member of the church and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. He was so excited. Everything went so smoothly and the Spirit was so very strong. We love him so very much! <3 I am so sad to be leaving him, but I know great things are in store. 

Change. There is truly no other thing that is constant in this world than change. But, of course, that's the way it's supposed to be. If there was no change in our lives we wouldn't be able to learn, we wouldn't improve and grow and become the person that our Heavenly Father knows and wants us to become. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to see other people's lives change and become better, amidst all the difficulties of life. I know that through, and only through, our Savior Jesus Christ we are able to repent, be made completely clean and receive eternal joy. It doesn't make it any easier, but in the end, it will always be better as we trust in Him and follow His will for us.

Love y'all! 

Love, Sister Merritt

We took the MakeUp

Hey Y'all.

July 18th

This week was literally sweat and tears. I wish I could tell y'all all that has happened but it would take up a whole week. First of all, we planned a wedding. YES. MY DREAM! We were able to plan, decorate and be bridesmaids for our investigators wedding. Check that off the bucket list. Kieren was married Tuesday. She wanted to elope buuuut she wanted the sister missionaries to be there because we are literally her best friends so she couldn't run away too far to get married so we just planned for the church and bishop would marry them. It was so much fun to see her face when she came into the room and to see it all decorated. A member of the ward actually plans weddings so we were able to use a bunch of her stuff to decorate with which was super helpful! We got them married and not their goal is to get sealed after she is baptized! ❤️

Kieren is wanting to stop smoking too. Nothing has been helping her to stop so she came up with a plan that we needed to find something that she loved more than smoking and we would take that every day she smoked.. We thought of everything but nothing was working. Then it came to us.. Her makeup. Every day she smoked a cigarette we would take all of her makeup and she would have to go without it. When she went a day without smoking, we would give it back. It was a good plan, except she was having an anxiety attack while we were driving away with all of her makeup and she paced up and down the hallway for two hours after we left. The next day we look at our phone and see that we have 5 missed calls and 20 texts from her (more than we ever get in a week from her) telling us that she absolutely NEEDS her makeup back. Right. Now. So we call her back and she swore at telling us to give her make up back!!! "Well Kieran, did you smoke today?" "Yes! Four cigarettes" ..... This is ridiculous. So we go to her house that night, we were all scared out of our mind because we don't know to what extremes she will go to to get her makeup back. We go inside, she sits down and has another anxiety attack. To make a long story short, we gave in and gave her makeup back after we had role played all the situations she may be in to where she would want a cigarette and what she could say. We also made her chain smoke 3 cigarettes that had been soaked in curdled milk (celestial soup) which obviously tastes disgusting. Watching her smoke those made everyone cry though. After her last cigarette she throws up and tells us she is never smoking again, the tears in our eyes were enough to make her stop. And the only way we could have done this is because she knew we were doing it out of love for her. It was an emotional night, but if I learned anything from this I learned to never EVER take away her makeup..

Tommy was baptized this Saturday! He was so prepared y'all! Just so solid and has the strongest testimony ever. He has changed so much since we first met him. It was a beautiful service and the joy on his face made everyone cry. The teaching process with him was so fast but it was because he was studying and praying and changing all on his own. His faith is incredible. Someday I want to have faith like him. It's amazing to see how the spirit works and changes a person. Most of the time, if the persons heart is soft and open enough, through reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church, the person will change without us even asking them to. That's how Tommy was. He was just ready. We are so excited for him (:

Update on Hope. She is currently in VA and loving it! We were a little worried she wouldn't progress in the gospel as quickly because we wouldn't be available to meet with her, but she called us yesterday and told us all about the ward she visited there! She loved it... Even though she accidentally went to YSA.. Oops. But she is still progressing!

Besides this we had tons of service, zone conference, singing at youth conference, a ton of lessons, and we are preparing Jeremiah for baptism this week. The south is a good place to be! 🍑

Again, i wish I could tell y'all everything because we had some fun adventures. But I guess they will have to wait. Have a great week!

Love, Sister Merritt