Monday, February 24, 2014


My week in review: Alright, it's only fair that I start out the review with Sister Fica's baptism. I don't even know where to start. it was just SO special! We got there early and started filling up the font and then took care of a bunch of stuff THEN they arrived! Taking the pictures was so wonderful and so special! Then, the baptism started. Her granddaughter and daughter in law spoke and there were some musical numbers and THEN, they got ready to head in! Elder Wootton and I got to be the witnesses for the baptism which turned out to be such a tear jerking experience. The spirit was so strong as she entered the water and as she was baptized and came out of the water, it was like we could hear the angels singing in the background! Words cannot describe the joy that filled the room and what a wonderful experience that was. :)
After the baptism we got to go to the Fica's home for lunch as well which was super fun! And THEN, on Sunday, she was confirmed and we got to be in the circle! Man........ it was so good! Her grandson, Zach confirmed her and she told me afterward that it was like the spirit was just filling her up and every word he said rang true for her. It was an honor to be a part of. :) Her whole conversion and the process of her journey toward the church was such a privilege to be a part of and I will NEVER forget it. :) THAT is what the mission is all about. :)

Also, the next best thing is we got to take an incredible man on a Church Tour! If I haven't told you guys  about him already, I apologize! He is in his late 40s and is a teddy bear of a guy! He is 6 ft 3 in and at one point in his life was taking drugs and was drinking quite a bit of alcohol. BUT, since then, he has found God and given all of that up and dedicated himself to following the Savior. He is amazing! AND, he absolutely loves the church! We taught him the Restoration and he just ate it up! Then, we took him on a Church Tour with the Bishop and he told us multiple times about the peace and comfort he was feeling! If all goes well, he will be baptized on March 22nd! I am so excited to continue working with him and see his progress! Also, funny story: Because he is such a big guy and wanted actual church clothes for this coming Sunday, Elder Wooton and I got to go shopping for him at Deseret Industries with a Bishops Order for clothes. Man! It was hard but crazy fun! Turns out, the clothes didn't fit too well so we are going to get him some new stuff! ;) Overall though, he is absolutely amazing and such a good guy, very sensitive to the spirit and very sincere! :)

Overall for the whole week, it was very very incredible. :) A lot of exciting things are happening in the Pocatello 2 area from new people to teach, houses being built and my learning SO much from Elder Wooton. I love this area and I love all of you! Have a fantastic week!!!! :) Talk to ya soon!

Elder Merkley

Monday, February 17, 2014

2/17/2014...My question to Elder Bednar!!!!

My week is review: Alright, so...... I want to talk about one event this week. :) Easily, one of the most incredible things I have experienced on my mission. :)
 Saturday morning when Elder Bednar came and spoke to the mission. :) Oh my goodness...... it was so incredible. First off, we got to take pictures with him, 5 Zones per picture and that was AWESOME! I can't wait to see that picture! :) Then, we, as reverently as we could, made our way to the Chapel to prepare to have our discussion with him. I read some of his talks that we were assigned to read and looked back and forth between the doors to see when he would walk in mostly. ;) Eventually, he came! It was amazing because we did the same thing the conference center does when the Prophet walks in, we all stood up as he walked up to the podium and then sat down.
We started the meeting off with a song, prayer and then a talk by Sister Brinkerhoff, Sister Bednar, and Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy and then.... Elder Bednar spoke. Man of man, it was just amazing! He spoke to eloquently and with the spirit the ENTIRE time! Every single word he spoke kept you RIGHT on the edge of your seat and absolutely captivated you! Also, every phrase spoke right to your heart! Also, he is absolutely hilarious! There was so much laughing going on because he was just so down to earth and he knew how nervous and excited we were. ;) 
Basically, the entire thing as a discussion! He started by asking us questions and we answered em. That was nerve racking but very very good. ;) He expounded so incredibly on every answer too! The way he built and layered everything was a testimony to me that the spirit was guiding his words 100%. :) THEN came the best time of the whole meeting. WE got to ask HIM our questions. There were so many amazing questions asked. Everything from revelation regarding upcoming church events, what it is like to be a part of the preparation of the next president of the Church and how missionary's missions are selected. :)
 I didn't really have a question going in but one hit me while I was sitting down. I even got to ask Elder Bednar my question! When he asked, "What other questions do you have?" I raised my hand and AMAZINGLY, he picked me! He pointed right at me and with my heart racing I was handed the microphone in front of the whole mission and got to ask him, "Elder Bednar, knowing what you know, having learned  what you have learned, what should we do during our decisions right now and in the future to better lead this church, our families and our lives, not necessarily to make it to the quorum of the 12 apostles but to better ourselves?" After I choked my question out, I was able to enter into an incredibly spiritual experience. :) As I listened to Elder Bednar expound and answer my question with such incredible clarity and knowledge, it was as if, everything blurred around Elder Bednar and all I could see was him looking right at me. I'm not even sure if everyone else heard what I heard! He told me incredible things that entered right into my heart. I KNOW that he was speaking by the spirit and speaking things very personal and relevant to me. I KNOW that Elder Bednar is an Apostle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those 3 to 4 hours last Saturday witnessed that knowledge unto me. We are leaded and guided by absolutely incredible and inspired men THIS DAY. As we heed their council and live in the light that Heavenly Father, through his servants, shines upon us, we will NEVER be lost.

Last Saturday rocked me to my very core and I am so glad that I had that opportunity. :) I love you all so much and hope that you have an absolutely amazing week! :) Talk to ya soon!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

02/10/2014..Temple time

Brother and Sister Axline and I right after we did baptisms for the dead at the Idaho Falls Temples

2/10/2014...Happy Valentines Day from Elder Merkley

View Lighthouse.jpg in slide show
Happy Valentines Day everyone!! :) Just wanted to share this great
picture with you guys. I know with ALL my heart that when our Heavenly
Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are our own personal
lighthouses, we will never be lost. :) They will always light our way
back to Heaven and take us where we need to go. :) THEIR work is to
bring to pass our Salvation and Eternal Life and they will never fail,
as long as we walk the path we need to walk and follow our Savior. :)
Love you guys!
Elder Merkley

2/10/14..A treadmill and a little dog!!!!

My week in review:
 the weather here..... it was a little chilly for quite a while. It's actually really crazy! There as  crazy drought here and I guess it is still going on BUT 19 stakes across eastern Idaho prayed and fasted for appropriate moisture and we got pounded with snow! Then, we got a whole bunch of rain and now it's about 45-50 degrees outside! Crazy, I know! But, the moral is that fasting and prayer works. :) I know that Heavenly Father will always provide what
we need, we just have to learn to be on the same wavelength as him. :) I was at the Dodges for almost 4 and a half months! It was SO fun! Now I am staying with a family by the name of the Mannings. They have a tiny little black dog AND A TREDMILL!!!!! Oh man, I'm excited! Overall though, they are so nice! They both work in law enforcement and are fantastic.We got to set a baptismal date with a wonderful girl named Isabella! She is 11 I believe and she is really shy but we are going to keep working with her and we are SUPER excited to see where it leads! :)
We have been able to have some absolutely incredible visits with some people by the last name of Curzon. :) He is a wonderful and active member and his wife is a non-member.He is a fantastic man that has been through a lot but just keeps smiling. I know that that is what we need to do. We need to keep smiling even during the trials because we never know who is watching. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

2/3/2014..Elder Bednar is coming!!!

I have a couple of awesome things for ya this week. 

We got to set a baptismal date with a wonderful lady by the name of Tami! Her baptism is scheduled for March 15th and we are so looking forward to working with her! We have an appointment to teach her again tomorrow and are really looking forward to introducing the Plan of Salvation to her. :) She has never before had religion in her life so she has NO pre-conceptions and is very humble. Her husband, who was raised catholic, said, when we invited the both of them to baptized, "I was already baptized." BUT, we are really hoping that through Tami's good example, Frank, her husband will become more interested. :)