Mom and Dad,
I don't really have that much to say that I didn't already say in the email.
Me, Ackley (from Hawaii) Tu'itutou (from Australia), and elder Luke stayed up talking and telling stories last night. Luke told us a story that happened to one of his church leaders on his mission.
There was a bishop on one of the outer Samoan islands that let the church tear down his house to build a chapel on his land. The local chiefs came up to him and set a date where if the church wasn't torn down by then, they would tie him to a cross and burn him alive. The date came and the man refused to tear down the church. He said he would rather die bearing witness of and pleasing his Lord, than live and reject Him. The chiefs came, took the man, and brought him to the top of the hill. He said only "at least I get to enter the presence of my god on a sunny day." As he was raised up on the cross, he was surrounded by all the saints and the pair of missionaries, all kneeling and praying for his deliverance. Luke's leader said he had never prayed harder in his life. As they set the brush around the bottom of the cross on fire, a giant rainstorm came out of nowhere. Right as the flames were about to touch him, they were put out by the tremendous downpour of rain. It testified to me of the power of prayer He also said after that, they had several hundred baptisms due to this miracle.
I love and miss you guys so much, but at the same time I've never been happier. Just know that I'm doing great and don't worry about me.
Love, your son,
Elder Sammy Merrill