We have been doing some pretty extensive iPad training. We do not have wifi in our apartments so we have to go to the stake center or chapel for internet. Just the other morning, when Sister Triana and I were going over our new area books on the ipad, a member who we recognized but did not know personally asked if I was from Virginia (I was wearing my "Virginia is for Lovers" shirt!), my answer was, "Yes, of course!" She replied that her grandparents were in the Arlington ward! She asked me if I knew who Marjorie and John Merrell were.
My. Heart. Melted.
When I was in Young Women's in Arlington I remember our leaders wanting us to get to know some of the older members in our ward better. In little groups on Mutual night we would go visit them. We would bring a treat, spend time in their home, ask questions about their lives etc. I was blessed with the opportunity to build many relationships with these wonderful members. Pearl Goodsell is another that I have to mention!
-- but the Merrells were my family. They were the family that I truly bonded with. I remember walking into church and as soon as I saw Brother Merrell, he would give me a look, walk over to me and whisper that I had better go give a big hug to a wife and say hello to his wife. How cute.
After I went to college I found out about Sister Merrrell's passing, I cried. A lot. But even now almost 5 years later, I know, I truly know that they both loved me just as much as I loved them! I think of them regularly and having the chance to meet and know their granddaughter was not a coincidence. Thousands of miles away I was able to reconnect with a family that I so dearly loved. The world is small and it's even smaller in the Mormon World!!
I am so grateful for that tender mercy of being able to meet their granddaughter! She is lovely and I hope she knows how much her family means to me.
Sometimes we don't understand the lives we touch or even how. We just need to do our part of helping to serve in the Lord's vineyard wherever we may be. I know that is true when I was in Arlington, and even now in Palo Alto.
I am also for the even greater testimony of the Plan of Salvation that I have received on my mission. I know I will see the Merrells again.
I love you all!,