Monday, March 30, 2015


 I accidentally deleted my VERY long description of the week....... WHOO! ;) The important events include Chelsey baptism! I got to sing, be a witness, and give a talk! Whoo! Also, we had an AMAZING missionary meeting with our Mission President. We talked about sacrifice. I feel more ready than ever to give EVERYTHING to the Lord and sacrifice everything I've got. :) Also, we got to watch Meet the Mormons with 2 amazing families that we are working with, one of whom came to church as well! So spiritual and so perfect. :) Overall, AMAZING week!

3/30/2015..Snow and special days!!!

SNOW! My goodness.... Mother Nature! Please make up your mind!
Chelsey's baptism! such a special day! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

3/16/2015...Have some SALAD!!!

3/16/2015..Staying faithful

My week in review: What a glorious week!!! :)
First off, I got to attend an amazing fireside! The speaker was an individual who was formerly a member of the islamic faith and now has converted to Christinaty and since joined the LDS church! Oh my goodness...... what a story! He is literally an Arab Prince! He grew up as royalty in the Middle East and after moving to London to learn english was introdced to Mormon Missionaries and Christianity and has never looked back! He gave up EVERYTHING and his life is constantly in danger! After he converted he was almost murdered but survived! Man, it was an amazing example of sacrifice, RIGHTEOUS sacrifice. When there is something out there that is worthy of receiving, we should be willing to give it our all to get it. When Christ is involved, we should be willing to give up EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, just like this brother. Amazing story. :)

Also, I was able to go on exchanges with two other elders in our zone! It was a wonderful experience! I got to teach Bryan, an agnostic man. We spent so much time talking about faith believing without seeing. He has such a good heart and a desire to know and be with his family forever. I felt such a great love for him! We shouldn't ever give up on anybody! Everyone has great potential and we need to always keep that in mind everyday! Overall, it was a great day!

Also, the weather here has been AMAZING! SO GOOD!

Mmmm..... we had a Zone Companionship study too! We got together Friday morning and practiced inviting our investigators to come unto Christ! It went really well! Invitations are an amazing thing! Change is a beautiful thing as well! When we are willing to keep our commitments and help those around us to become better, the power of God is definitely manifest! Also, I've learned that if we extend an invitation of any kind to someone and don't follow up, it's useless! We need to ask them about it again and again and help them continue to come unto Christ! Nephi himself said that most individuals will not change unless invited to do so. Along with inviting others to change, let us invite ourselves to change! EVERYDAY and always follow up with ourselves! :)

Also, the Idaho Falls Temple is officially closed for 18 months for renovation. It feels strange! It's almost like something is missing now. The assurance that the temple was there, alive and well proved to be a beautiful strength! Now that that is not the case, things aren't terrible but it's just.... different. We've still got Rexburg though and in reality, we are still INCREDIBLE spoiled. :)

Also, we as a zone are fasting for greater success and miracles! My sacrifice for the rest of March is dessert/candy and also, using the stick shift in our car. No more of that! ;) Also, I'm gonna do better at writing in my journal! Haha!

Overall, this past week was great! I can't think of lots of events that were specifically amazing but looking back, the week just had a good feel to it. It baffles me how fast time goes by though. Father Time is definitely doing his job right! Haha! I know with all my soul that Jesus is the Christ! That knowledge has given me so much comfort and happiness so far on my mission. I fully expect to, as I stand upon that rock, find happiness throughout life. :) I invite everyone to find greater faith in and through Christ! Rely on Him! Trust Him! He knows what He is doing. :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

3/9/2015...Pure excitement!!!

This past week was amazing! It was a roller coaster ride too! So much work was able to get done! Specific instances that pop out to me definitely include Tuesday. My goodness! So, we went on splits for a good long while. Elder Fontes went with a couple and I went with oen of our Relief Society Presidents and her son. It was amazing! We were able to visit so many wonderful people and between the two of us and including the time we were together, we taught 10 lessons! Also, I got to proselyte in an office building! Haha! We were going through a list and an address that we were looking for led us to an office building. We thought, "Well, here goes nothing!" and walked in! We ended up teaching a teenager who's dad works there and also, got to meet his dad, who is an attorney and he is open to us coming by! Yessssss!!! Amazing memory and the young man I was with was very enthused by the experience!

Also, we met Damian! Another set of elders had met him and he told them he wanted to be baptized. He went and saw Meet the Mormons with them as well! He actually is in one of the wards that we cover though so we have started to teach him! We asked him, "What do you like to do?" and he said, "I like to get baptized!" I think we've got a keeper! Haha! He came to church and we have another appointment with him tomorrow!

Also, I got the chance to bear my testimony in every Sacrament meeting we were in! Ya know how there are commonly long pauses where no one gets up? Elder Fontes told me that it is never like that in Brazil! Apparently, it is like a race! Right when the meeting is opened up to the congregation, individuals flood the stage and sit in the choir seats. If you don't jump on the opportunity you don't GET an opportunity! Wow! Imagine what it would be like to see that! :) I feel strongly that we need to share our testimonies are they will fade. Only in sharing it can we keep it. :)

Oh man, we had an amazing meeting this past week! We had a meeting with the whole stake's Ward Mission Leaders and also, the High Counselor over Missionary Work. It was EXCITING! I felt very vocal during the meeting and greatly enjoyed commenting and helping to solve problems and concerns that people in the stake had. Basically, I REALLY want to be a Ward Mission Leader someday or at least be a missionary EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE! :)

Mmmm.... we went on exchanges with one of the Assistants to the President, Elder Deppermann. It was incredible! We got to talk with a whole bunch of people outside of a homeless shelter, give a Church tour in 2 different church buildings, have a baptism and Elder Deppermann talked with us about our zone. It was humbling! I really can be doing a lot better! :) I WILL do better! :)

Also, the health is going wonderfully! I've been praying for a greater desire to care for my body and it has been going very well! I've been able to control the natural man and eat healthier! There is such a profound difference in one's spiritual countenance when healthy foods are placed in the temple as opposed to unhealthy foods! The exercising has been great as well! Lots of cardio, some weight lifting and lots of positive endorphins floating around! Haha! Life is GREAT! :)

I think that is good for this week! Haha! Basically, it was an amazing roller coaster ride of excitement and business! Love you all! Bye!

3/2/2015...A rewarding journey!!!

3/2/2015..New area and companion!!!

this past week was a roller coaster ride of wonderful and amazement! I began the week in Taylor Mountain 2, my previous area. That area was SO incredible for me. I had the opportunity to learn a lot about leadership while I was there. I learned, more fully, that leadership isn't about serving OVER others but serving with or UNDER others. It is an opportunity to be an example and unless you fulfill the very call that you give others, it is hypocritical! Also, the correct way to lead and guide is to teach correct principles and let others govern themselves. End of story! :) I had the opportunity to meet amazing people that have changed my life! The opportunity I had to serve with Elder Olson and Elder Dalling was amazing! Those elders are great men that I will always remember! Overall, Taylor Mtn 2 is the best area other than all the other areas which are also the best areas ever! ;)

Alright, here we go! IF North 1 with Elder Fontes! This area is CRAZY. I have had some wild experiences! WE are amongst some of the most humble and wonderful people that I know. :) Elder Fontes is incredible as well! When he talks, PEOPLE LISTEN! It's as simple as that! He has got a fire for the work and we are excited to move forward together in this great cause and bring about much fruit! BRING IT ON WORLD! We have our zone training tomorrow as well! This zone is amazing! There is a lot of good stuff going on. In our zone, we have all the sisters serving in the Visitor's Center as well as all the IF Spanish missionaries and on top of that, we have the biggest zone in the mission! Talk about an amazing dynamic! Elder Fontes is teaching me a lot though and is most definitely teaching me a lot too!

Finally, Sister Fica's sealing. What a day!!! It was AMAZING! So many memories and joyful feelings were abundant in the temple that day! She was GLOWING! The spirit of the Lord was there. I know that with all my soul! The Lord is in His Holy Temples! :) Elder Abbott (Now JT) and I got to be Sealing Witnesses too! I had never done that! It was AMAZING! We got to sign her marriage certificate and everything! :)

Overall, the joy of Idaho Falls is abundant and we are drinking it in generously! :) I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and support! I know with all my soul that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I invite everyone to read from it, ponder it, and pray about the message it contains! You will come to know with more surety that Jesus is the Christ, that the Priesthood has been restored to the earth and the Lord's kingdom is BACK! :) Go share the Gospel with someone today! :)


We have an investigator that has been saying that she will listen to the Book of Mormon when she acquires a means by which she CAN listen to it. PROBLEM SOLVED!
Elders Gillespie, Harrs, Dalling and Bregg after our Zone Leadership Counsel! :)

2/23/2015..Maximum effort..maximum reward!!!

This past week was an absolutely amazing one! Jeremy Marston has been baptized! It was a fantastic service! After I performed his baptism, I had the opportunity to just stand there for a second and think about the beauty of the gospel and the joy that is reserved for the faithful! Being faithful is so much more than just doing the minimum. Putting in the minimimal effort will result in minimal blessings but putting in the maximum effort will maximize one's blessings and tender mercies! The Lord loves us and wants to bless us. We have to do the foot work and ACT! :) Also, I found out that I am getting transferred! I will be with an Elder Fontes! He is from Brazil! Coincidence?? NOPE! :) I am SO excited for the work that is to be done, here in my present area and over yonder! I'll still be in Idaho Falls! I have roughly 4 months left! GAME TIME! WHOOOO!!!! Mmm.... Oh! I also got to go on an exchange with an Elder Frazier! We walked...... A LOT! we talked to some wonderful people too! It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about patience, offering correction lovingly and also, having hope that God will provide a way, no matter what. :) I also got to talk this past Sunday in one of our wards! I got to give me "farewell!" ;) I talked about how "gathering daily manna brings us closer to God." The daily manna that I touched on was daily prayer and scripture study and also, GOOD HEALTH! It was so much fun to speak and bear my testimony about the wonder of God's love and how we can access that love! :) Man, the experiences I have had here have been through the roof. The joy and stress has been very abundant. I feel that I have grown in so many ways! I feel that I have more self control and strength than I did before coming to Idaho Falls 6 months ago. I feel more knowledgeable and wise, as strange as that sounds! God really is our loving Heavenly Father. Everything He does is for our good. :) Love you all! Go help someone today! :)

Elder Merkley