Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week # 3 Queen Anne

So Robecca's son Jenyang got baptized on Saturday. I confirmed him in sacrament meeting. We don't have anyone to teach now. The entire zone has a lack of people to teach so that is our focus this week. We're going through all of our former investigators and trying to get at least one more before the year is up. We had a mission fast to reach that goal. We are trying to get 20 total lessons a week. We tried to do a church tour with that family twice, but both times fell through. The lessons that go toward that number are member present lessons, member lessons, and recent converts/less actives. The members up here are way helpful. Our ward mission leader thinks we're slacking because some former missionaries had a lot of success in areas that hadn't been tracted through before and they dried up the well so to speak. We're working hard though. I have to take a nap at break so I don't fall asleep at night.

It's really not that cold up here. I wore short sleeve shirts a lot actually. The rain isn't like it is in AZ. It's more of a drizzle. Like the clouds can't hold in any more water. Think of it like when you pull a washcloth out of the sink. I think its because we are so close to the water.

We play basketball every morning for exercise. It's pretty much a zone activity. It helps Elder Romrell and I have a better day.

We were talking to a ward missionary and he was telling us his story. He was less active for 13 years after his mission but turned his life around in August. He gave Elder Romrell and I advice to stay active:

1. Good Friends
2. At least a half an hour of the Book of Mormon a day
3. Daily Prayer
4. Go to church every week no matter where you are
5. Fulfill callings (home teaching, visiting teaching)

It applies to you guys at home too.

Hope everything is good with everyone.
Love Elder Merrell

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Week # 2 - Queen Anne

So Robecca got baptized on the 5th and got confirmed yesterday. Her son is getting baptized this Saturday. Were giving a church tour to a family of 7 on Wednesday. Which basically means we disguise the first lesson while walking through the church building.

My typical day includes:

6:30 wake up/exercise
7:00 eat and get ready
8:00 personal study
9:00 companion study
10:00 tract
12:00 visit less actives
2:00 eat/nap time/study
4:00 make visits
5:00 tract
7:00 appointments
9:00 go home
10:30 go to bed

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Queen Anne - Week 1

So I'm in seattle now which is pretty sweet. My companion is Elder Romrell. I'm serving in the Seattle 1st ward. Its the most diverse ward in the mission. I cover Queen Anne and Downtown. We street contact around the Key Arena a lot. Its very hilly here and cold. the ward is very nice and helpful. We had 2 baptisms on Saturday and probably at least another one in a couple weeks.

Love you all and kinda miss you
Send me some letters
Elder Merrell

Here is my mission office address ill get you my apartment address asap
10675 NE 20th st
Bellevue, WA 98004

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm Giving Christ My Son - Author Unknown

This year for Christmas I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving.
The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus,
My decorating has no flair.
Two suits and socks...no fun.
I've bought him all white clothes because...
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple,
Felt strength come from His words.
I've reread November's Ensign,
And my testimony stirred.
Our family prays more frequently.
My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems close because,
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers,
Gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion,
Their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence,
I'll miss his smile a ton.
For those two years we will pray for him,
I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking.
I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him,
That makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard,
His choice and mine are one.
I'll put my faith in God's hand,
This year, I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter.
I think I finally understand.
Christ's birth should be celebrated,
By giving him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns,
That all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make,
This year, I'm giving Christ my son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held,
The hands I taught to pray;
Now knock on doors to find the ones
Who will listen to what he'll say.
Because I know Christ needs him,
Until all the gathering's done
My gift has taken years to make
This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 1st - Seattle

JJ left for Seattle on December 1st. He was able to call home from the airport. It was great to hear from him and hear about the MTC and the Elders he met there. His district was made up of 4 Elders going to Seattle Washington and the rest were going to the Hungary mission. Their tradition is to do the "Taplia Magyar" when the Elders leave the MTC. Here is a video of the one they did for JJ.

(I tried to upload it, but it wasn't working. I'll try at another time and hopefully it will work.)

MTC Photos

JJ's bed

JJ's Room

Washington, Seattle Mission

JJ's District

JJ's Zone

Elder Merrell & Elder Spencer

Provo Temple

JJ's Zone

JJ, Mullen Elder, Elder Ales, and Zundeen Elder

District and Brother Heasley (JJ's teacher)

Elder Merrell & Elder Jacobson (His mom and John went to school together in Duncan. Jared and JJ both went to Higley High and graduated last year. They have known each other since kindergarten.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

JJ's Mission Week #2

Alright so heres a basic outline of what my day is

I wake up at 615 and have personal study til 8. Then breakfast. Class til 1. We practice teaching and how to become better at meeting people. Lunch is at 1 More class til 5. THen I study with my companion for an hour. We have meetings scattered thorughout the day.. We can also go to the referral center. This is where we can get on the computers and phones and call people or chat online with them about questions that they have. Dinner is at 6. We have devotionals on Sunday and Tuesday nights. We go on temple walks on sundays. We get an hour of gym 4 times a week.
My companions name is Elder Spencer. Hes from Delta Utah. The other elders going to Seattle with me are Elder Sumner and Elder Mosqueda. The other 6 elders in my district are going to New Zealand. Elder Ales is a really cool. Hes from Sacramento. ELder nipko is from Ogden Utah. Hes really fun. Elder Everett is our district leader. He's from Hawaii. Hes really quiet. My favorite is Elder Greening. Hes from New Zealand and is going back for his mission. He's about as tall as 1 am and about 215. I work out with him at night. Ive stayed the same weight but all my pants are getting looser. Whatever that means.
Kaitlyn and Chelsea are a big hit in the districts. Grandpa sent me some pictures from my farewell party. They want letters from them. The address is the same as me just change the name. There Elder Ales, Spencer, Mullen, and Nipko.
Write me. It gives me something to look forward to. I read them when i have some downtime.

Elder JJ Merrell

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week #1 - MTC


Its been a week already!!! It's amazing here. The food's alright as long as I eat the healthy stuff. I've never seen so much cereal before.

I went to the temple today. It was great. I love it there. The weather is awesome here. It snowed for a couple days last week but its all gone now. 4-square is pretty intense up here. Its like the thing to do during gym time.

Write me letters. Its what makes days up here. Everyone stands around while the letters are being handed out and it really sucks when you don't get one. Also, send some pictures up cuz i have hardly anything from home to show.

If you go to dearelder.com you can type up a letter and submit it and i get it the same day in letter form. Ask me anything you want, tell me whats going on with your life and ill tell you whats up with my mission.