Thursday, July 31, 2014

7/28/2014..Rain Selfie and great guys!!

 It rained SO hard one day! AND I realize that the first picture is a selfie but I had to capture the moment. 
 Seth got baptized! It was a very simple and a very wonderful service. He was super excited! He's got a bright and beautiful future ahead of him! 
 Elder Beebee and Elder Palfreyman! I'm gonna miss them! :)

7/28/2014...Hard at work and play

My week in review: Man.... there is too much to talk about..... well, to start off..... I got a waterballoon thrown at me by a little girl. I won't lie.... I was a LITTLE angry BUT I got over it. ;) It was at a youth activity by the way and we were trying to find someone to come to a lesson with us. ;) Oh! This past P Day we got to go to a place called Randy's Extreme! It was.... EXTREME! It was full of dodgeballs, trampolines, foam pits and everything fun that anybody would want to enjoy. ;) ALSO, we got to help a lady move on Tuesday! She was very grateful. It was a testimony to me of how much service really does help soften people's hearts and help move the work forward. :) Also, this has been the BEST week of my whole mission in terms of eating healthy and working out! It was FANTASTIC and as a result, I feel.... FANTASTIC! ;) Also, we got to see the Axlines this past week! They took us to Pizza Pie Cafe which is INCREDIBLE!
 Also, I know it's a little late... but I set mission goals! It feels so good to have them written down. This next year is going to be a year of accomplishment and growth. I can feel it! :) Also, we found a new investigator today!  She has a daughter, her husband is a LA member and she is so ready to learn! She has talked to missionaries in the past and has had some experience with the church. We are hoping and praying that she will be able to progress. :)  Also, we found a new family that we are hoping to teach a little more! I'm not sure what their last name is. They are INCREDIBLE. They are catholic and he is a VERY intellectual guy and likes to look at every detail. It makes for interesting discussions! Also, we got to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with some other Elders this past Thursday as part of a celebration/final outing because two of them go home today! Man.... it's so crazy. I'm gonna miss them! Their names are Elder Beebee and Elder Palfreyman. They have been amazing examples to me though.

Elder Merkley

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7/21/2014... Baptisms and Ducks too!!

 NICK'S BAPTISM! Elder Bertoch and I got to teach him in my old area and he just got baptized! A lot of missionaries walked the journey with him and it was a wonderful thing to see! I'm so happy for him! He has got some great things coming from him and I know without a doubt, he's ready for em and ready to keep learning. :)
Elder Adkins and I's adventure to Idaho Falls!!! We got to go through the temple, then go to Olive Garden and we also saw this AWESOME SUPER HUGE DUCK! It was awesome. ;)

7/21/2014..Busy and happy!

My week in review:  2 of our investigators also committed to be baptized! One is 12, crazy and like the Broncos and the other is single, has a dog and loves the church with all her heart. I love them! It is going to be incredible to continue to work with them! Also, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Palfreyman this past week. He is going home in a week so we set after mission goals and had an absolutely amazing day!! Also, Elder Bertoch and I got to go to a baptism in Blackfoot for a man that we taught way back when. We also got sandwiches and pistachio fruit salad. 
Our zone is doing really well! I feel so gosh darn good when they succeed and when they are happy! It's wonderful to see their success. Also, I have officially hit my year mark and as a result of a new countdown beginning, I have a new found motivation to work harder, longer and smarter! Things are going awesome! Also, we have transfers this coming week so that will be exciting to see what happens.
I got to have an awesome experience. I was in Elder Bertoch's area and we went and saw this awesome lady who isn't a member that we met with quite a bit but since then had not met with them very much. We got in, had a great talk with her AND she came to church the next day! I hope and pray that she can continue to see how good the Gospel is and would be for her. She needs it. :) 
Also, we got to go to the Temple and to Olive Garden in Idaho Falls! Although Olive Garden was good, without a doubt, the Temple was better. ;) It was so beautiful, sacred and serene. It was my 2nd time going through that temple and the experience was unparalleled. :) I hope and pray that I will be able to return again and again. 
 Also, we got to play soccer and Frisbee with Elders Palfreyman and Bertoch, Jeff and Raymond (2 of our investigators), Jason Olsen and his brother (super stalwart member in Elder Bertoch's area) and two young men from our area. It was AWESOME! We even got to share a spiritual thought afterward! Overall, it was an excellent fellowshipping opportunity and a great way to let out some energy! 
 Overall, it's been very hot and this past week was INCREDIBLE! I love being a missionary! I love being a member of this church and I love everything that I am learning every single day! Hope all is well back home! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

7/14/2014..ONE YEAR MARK and lunch with the ladies!!!

This was such a tender mercy from the Lord! During my very first
exchange, close to a year ago, I took a picture RIGHT HERE and now, I
got to go back to that area for another exchange and take another
picture! Man.... life is the best! :)

When I was on exchanges we had dinner at Sizzler's with pretty much
the entire Relief Society! It was AWESOME!

7/14/2014..Be a Lion!!

This past week was so incredible! We got to have interviews with President Brinkerhoff and Sister Brinkerhoff which was the best thing ever. :) Also, we had a fantastic Zone Companionship Study this past Friday. It was great! We talked about the importance of involving the members and how NOTHING we do will truly be successful without them. CALLING ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH: THE MISSIONARIES NEED YOU! PLEASE HELP! :) Great blessings in store! :) Also, I got to go on 2 exchanges this past week! One with Elder Bertoch (Which was absolutely incredible! It was so fun to be with him because we were former companions and of course, he is a great missionary and a hard worker! We made some great progress in our area!) and Elder Carter (I got to  go to his area and it was SO fun! It was an incredible growing experience for both of us. I love that Elder!). It was SUPER hot...... except, when I was with Elder Bertoch it POORED rain for about 20 min. We were absolutely soaked and it was fantastic! Also, a family let us in when we were walking around and we are going to start teaching their son! Man.... it has been such a great week! Elder Adkins and I have been having a ton of fun laughing and working hard! The Zone is doing well except we need to get more people out to church!

In the book of Proverbs it says, "The wicked flee when no man persueth but the righteous are bold as a lion." It is my invitation to all of us to be BOLD as a LION. Share the Gospel with someone this week! When we decide to share the Gospel, it isn't so much whether that person needs the missionaries but more so, does that person need more love, compassion, comfort and guidance in their lives. As soon as we ask ourselves that, we will know EXACTLY who needs the Gospel. :) The church is true. I know that with all my heart and soul. Joseph Smith was a prophet and his legacy will stand forever. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, the one who makes change possible and the rock that will take us to God IF we let Him. It's my testimony that God loves us and as we bring that love to those around us, WE will love Him, Christ, and others more. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

7/7/2014..Enjoying the mountains and some wonderful missionaries!!

God loves us so much! Look at this beautiful Earth He has given us!
God loves us so much! Look at this beautiful Earth He has given us!

the whole gang at Idaho Falls!!!

7/7/2014..Staying in Pokie..Frozen and Awesome meetings

I have OFFICIALLY been reassigned to the Idaho Pocatello Mission and am VERY happy about it!! I love it here!!! i know that this is the right decision for me. :) I took some time to think about it and pray about it and I know that God needs me here. I've learned a lot in the past 11 months about humility, trusting in God and recognizing His hand in my life. I know that THAT was what I needed to learn and I've got more learning experiences coming my way. Overall, it's OK. It's all about HOW you serve not WHERE you serve and I'm needed here :)

This past week was VERY good! We had an AWESOME council meeting in Idaho Falls with President Brinkerhoff and a whole bunch of other missionaries from around the mission. We talked about a lot of awesome stuff: Helping the mission progress, helping the missionaries, broadening our vision, what needs to  be improved upon, etc. AND we had a delicious lunch while we were there! Overall it was an AWESOME  afternoon! It has been VERY VERY hot lately! 101 degrees on Sunday!Whoo! AND we've gotten to walk around all day and enjoy this wonderful heat! Don't worry, I'm cracking out the sunscreen! Haha! Also, on thursday, we had a Zone Training! Our whole Zone got together and we discussed what was brought up during the council and what WE need to do to improve and grow and reach the bar that is being set by God. It was AWESOME. Elder Adkins gave a training on Unity and I gave a training on Personal Accountability. I loved the topics! We all need to be unified! With God, the Spirit, our families, our friends, all moving together in the right direction! AND to help us all get there, we need to hold ourselves personal accountable. We can't always wait on those around us to follow up with us, we NEED to be following up with ourselves, setting goals for ourselves and moving forward! I invite you all to establish goals for yourselves! Work to achieve them and see God work miracles in your lives!

The 4th of July...... SO MUCH FUN! We woke up, did some stuff, wrote some letters, went to the mall, came back, got changed, went to a BBQ where we played volleyball with water balloons, kickball, ultimate
Frisbee, had burgers, played the guitar and just had a grand time! Then, we drove up to our apartment, got changed again and GUESS WHAT!!! WE got to watch Frozen!!!!! Best movie ever! I absolutely loved it! It was so good, funny and just plain fun!!! Man...... it was the best. Also, we got to play some AWESOME basketball before and after the movie and then, went to a baseball field and watched the fireworks and then Elder Adkins and I went home. Man, it was such an amazingly fun day. The whole week has just been so wonderful! Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and care, it is much appreciated and I can feel it! :)

I am expecting another fun filled week of lessons, struggles and amazing adventures! I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

6/30/2014..Great lasting memories

The temple. :) I believe with all my heart that as long as we can see the temple, whether with our physical eyes or our spiritual eyes,we will never be lost. :) God always provides a way for those that
keep his commandments. As we dedicate ourselves to being a Temple Attending people and working each day with that in mind, we will do just fine. :)

Sister Siler made the decision to be baptized and I got to be there! It was INCREDIBLE!! :)

6/30/2014..Alma 26 and a wonderful Zone

Things are actually going really really good here! We committed one of our investigators to be baptized on July 26th BUT his mom said that his uncle, who he wants to baptize him might not be able to make it so we are going to ask him if he would rather be baptized on the 19th. Whoo! Also, we got to have a Zone Companionship study this past week. It was absolutely incredible! Basically, a whole bunch of missionaries got together and we all had 1 hr where we read Alma 26 and discussed what we can do better. Very spiritual. Very AWESOME! 

Overall, this past week was INCREDIBLE! We got to go to the temple, watch Prophet of the Restoration and just have a fantastic adventure with one of our investigators! She is going to be baptized soon and after that, is moving to Holland! Wow! Who said that we couldn't have foreign experiences, even in Pocatello! Haha! Also, we got to play some basketball with her sons, two of our potential investigators that was awesome!  We got to go to both our Zone's District Meetings which were incredible! I love this Zone! Also, we did a lot of walking around, met a lot of wonderful people and we are unlocking some fantastic potential in lots of different places! We also got to present a missionary lesson to one of our wards this past Sunday. It went really really well! We got a bunch of people in the ward to take some Gospel materials and we are hoping for the best! :) Other than that, we have a meeting to go to tomorrow in Idaho Falls, we have Zone Training this coming Thursday and things are just going great! Oh! Also, Sister Siler got baptized this past Saturday! She texted me a ways back saying that she was getting baptized and it was SO exciting!  And, it was a wonderful and great experience. :) Overall, this past week was INCREDIBLE 

6/23/2014..Changes again

My new companion, Elder Adkins!

missionaries at the Transfer Site!

6/23/2014...New companion and wonderful mother nature!

My week in review: Oh man... this past week has been so incredible. It had its tough moments but overall, really really fantastic! Our PDay was AWESOME! Our District meeting on Tuesday went really well too! Everyone in the District gave trainings. It was very spiritual and wonderful! And then...... Wednesday was transfer day! Man.... what a whirlwind of awesomeness! We started out by going to the Alameda Stake Center, dragging all my luggage about 3/4 of a mile which was AWESOME and then, we got there and I "met" my new companion, Elder Adkins! After that, we began the process of waiting for Elder Palfreyman, Elder Bertoch's companion! We went and got breakfast and then we went back to the apartment and I started to unpack! Then, after all that, we went back to the transfer site at the Stake Center! We played a little basketball while we waiting and talked with all the missionaries and then..... they arrived! Elder Palfreyman is so awesome! I look up to him so much! He has been an incredible leader in this mission and it is a privilege to serve around him. After that, we all broke off!