Monday, March 9, 2009

Willy the "Merritt Cowboy"

Brent was transferred to Merritt in May and these were a few of his words he sent home after finding out he was being transferred:
“…today is great, I am getting transferred :) at first I was mad because I asked president to let me stay one more transfer to do some more work, but he had other things in mind and I like them. So I am going to a small town up north called Merritt. I will take a good bus ride on Thursday morning with elder Kirby, my MTC comp, we'll be in the same district but like an hour and a half a part. I hear good things about where I'm going, all twenty members love missionaries, but the missionary work is a little slow so I'm going in. They do not have a chapel, so they meet in a small meeting house. I'm excited and they are starting to prepare for a chapel so I'm hoping to do work on that. My comp is from Poland, just learning English, and he has only been out one I guess you could say I get to follow up train but I hate that term, so we are both veterans now. I haven't met him yet but I'll let you know more when I get there, but I am excited and ready for a change. Things are all good…”
The first few letters Brent wrote from Merritt revealed the frustrations of a young Elder learning to adjust to a new area, different companion, and the usual changes and emotions that come with every transfer. It took a few weeks for Brent to warm up to the little town of Merritt and its people, but once he did he really enjoyed the work in this town, even though at times he had to learn how to control his "temper" and the virtue of patience.
In order to fit in amongst the citizens of Merritt, the missionaries were allowed to wear Cowboy hats anytime they wanted to. Who knew that a cowboy hat would be something Brent would need to bring with him as part of his missionary attire??? Since he obviously hadn't brought a cowboy hat with him, one of the members took the missionaries shopping and allowed them to pick out a nice cowboy hat to wear as part of the missionary wardrobe. The majority of the pictures Brent sent from Merritt included a cowboy hat, regardless of whether he was out proselyting or just hanging out on P-day. Brent was able to meet a lot of great people, and one person he was able to work with and be a part of the conversion was a young man named Tyrone. Brent grew to love the people in Merritt, and from his letters home I could tell he developed a special friendship with Tyrone, and his conversion really meant a lot him. I know it was hard for him to leave Merritt when he was transferred, primarily because of the friendship he had built with Tryone, and just wanting to be there to help be apart of strengthening his testimony. Here are a few photos of Willy's time in Merritt:
Brent and Elder Stevenson (Poland) at the building where they hold church meetings
Willy and Elder Stephenson (Idaho Falls) taking the Coutry Music town of Merritt by "storm"...
Willy and Stephenson teaching, as Brent put it, "The Sermon on the Mount"

Brent and Jim Fountain strummin' on the guitars...

Willy in deep thought as he peers over Nicola Lake towards Merritt wondering where all those doors are that are "supposed" to "open" when he "knocks"...

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