We are settled in a nice apartment and have a beautiful drive to  and from the office.  There are huge homes on small acreages all along the way.  The grounds are brown now but are very neatly mowed.  When spring comes it will be gorgeous.  If we ever get a chance we will take some pictures.  We live less than two miles from a major shopping center called Cool Springs which has all the major stores.  I feel right at home.  Ha, ha.

There is a church about every quarter of a mile all along the 15 minute drive to work.  We are 5 minutes from our ward building which is right next to the Nashville TN Temple.   Even though we are only 5 minutes away it took us at least 15 minutes to make the trip on Sunday because there were traffic cops directing traffic into and out of the many churches along the way.

Everyone has been especially nice and receptive.  We are in a ward that is much like the Evergreen Ward with a very active congregation.  They seem to be working hard to get the full time missionaries back into their ward.  They were not getting enough referrals so the mission president removed the Elders from the ward. We are still handing out the pass along cards to those we meet in the stores, etc. and we are going to work with the ward mission leader and the ward missionaries to visit with all the families in the ward and help them with their family mission plans. 

We are still being trained.  We had 9 days of training at the MTC which was truly an awesome experience!  We arrived in Nashville on Monday afternoon, changed our clothes and unloaded the car then we were invited to the Mission Presidents home for dinner with the other new couple and the couples that are leaving.  The next day we began training with the current missionary couples and have been working long days since.  Tomorrow we will be driving with the President and Sister Hutchings  2½ hours to Paducah, KY to clean out an apartment and move the furniture and missionaries to another area.  It looks like our P day is going to be skipped this week.  I am getting the impression that there is more work to be done that there are workers.  They mentioned at the MTC that they only have half as many senior missionaries and they need. 

There are about 130 missionaries in our mission and the goal is to baptize 50 people every month.  It looks like that goal will be met with the average the end of March.  The mission is sponsoring a fireside on March 7th and have invited the Osmond's to come and talk.  There are 10 members of the family that will be there.  Then later this spring there will be a concert with Gladys Knight that looks to be major.  They expect to get a lot of referrals from these activities.  The mission has a couple of companionship's that are called “church hoppers” that have been invited to go to other churches and preach to their congregations.  There is one church (non-member)s that has hired a bus to bring their members to the Osmond fireside.   We have a very aggressive, hard-working mission president.  He is having zone conferences every month instead of every six weeks which is suggested. 

All in all we are very busy and happy to be here.  It is great to be serving the Lord full-time.

Elder & Sister Merritt
Tennessee Nashville Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints