This email was composed entirely by Dennis, dad, grandpa, Elder Merrill, son, etc. (anything you know him by). This is a rare and treasured thing.
The mission continues to be an amazing experience for us. We have made some visits with the missionaries this week that were really special. Our meeting with Amanda and Skyler went really well. She has been doing a lot of reading and looking at things on the church website. We also met with a young lady whose mother is a member. She told us she believes Joseph Smith was a prophet. Her mother has begun family search and says she can only do it when she has lots of time because of all the new people she finds each time she goes on line.
We have also been working on our assignment to prepare to teach missionaries how to introduce investigators to family search. We spent the day Tuesday at family search centers, the first we discovered was not open at the time it was scheduled to open, so we went to another about 45 minutes away. We were there for about 2 hours before they had to close. Rhonda(Sister Merrill) found three possible names that might need work done but could not find all the information need to print cards for them. I didn’t have anyone to assist me but I was able to trace one of our lines clear back to Adam and Eve(The Mother of all Living).
Much of our week has been given to preparing food for different things. Shepherd pie, rolls and lemon cake to feed the missionaries after district meeting. We also made cookies to serve after MTC for the Branch members. This is a class the missionaries are teaching to help members help the missionaries with missionary work. Then for today,(Sunday) we made cream cheese tortilla roll-ups for the Branch. They were going to have what they call “Munch and Mingle” after the Branch Conference but it was canceled because the wind chill is 28 below 0 today. This coming week we will also feed the Elders after Zone Meeting Wed. Believe me, Sister Merrill’s cooking skills are very much appreciated here.
Yesterday (Sat.) the High Priest group had planned a trip to the temple, so we decided to go early and visit some of the sites around Palmyra. We left Batavia in a pretty bad snow storm but soon drove out of it. But soon after arriving there the same storm followed us and for the rest of the day it was pretty bad. We were able to see the Grandin Printing Shop, where the first five thousand copies of the Book of Mormon were printed, and we drove to the Martin Harris home-- but it was snowing so hard we really couldn’t see much. We then went to the Temple and they nearly canceled the session but two other couples came, one from Seattle, and another from Ontario, Canada, so they went ahead with the session. After the session the storm had let up so we went back to Batavia and celebrated Valentine’s Day at McDonalds.
That pretty well sums up our week but we still need to go back and get a hot dog at the seven eleven and give that guy a Book of Mormon. We are so much loving the work and being so close as companions. Our testimonies are growing every day. We love you all and look forward to sharing this great experience with all of you.
Blessings I will try to add each week (by Rhonda)
- The blessing of having a washer and dryer at home. We pay $3.00 per load here and are happy to have it downstairs. We thought we might do better downtown, but they wanted $5.00 per load. So, let's not forget how nice it is to do wash at our convenience at home.
- The blessing of being kept warm with a central furnace. We have a gas furnace (sort of like at the cabin) and it turns off and gets things warm, but goes off quickly and stays off a while. We have really enjoyed our insulated underwear. (especially for our apartment)
- The blessing of having wonderful parents and families. People here don't seem to do much with family. We mentioned that people don't seem to be that excited to be sealed to their parents, etc. We were told that a lot of people had mean parents and grandparents. MEAN. I'm can't imagine not wanting to be with our families.
- I'm grateful almost daily for things my family has done for me. I look at what I have on or am using and think of that special person. Thank you for everything you have helped me with!