Monday, August 10, 2009

I think the past week was the fastest in all my mission. It seems like I just started working with Elder Nicholas and already we´ve been together for a week. How time flies! Unfortunately, it was a really tough week. Our numbers were the lowest of my whole mission, and we´re having a hard time with some things.

It´s really difficult to find people to teach. With Elder Rigby I knocked probably 85% or more of the streets here. With Elder Nicholas I´ve knocked maybe 5% more. We don´t have many more to knock. Everybody knows us, and either don´t answer or come out and say no. Actually, they don´t say no. They say something like "I´m Catholic/Evangelist etc." "I don´t have time/I´m busy" "I have visitors" etc. Or they say that they´re alone, but we can see someone in the window. No one wants to listen to us. They other day we knocked and a man opened the door and said "Nadie pasa. ¡Vayan a su país!" Or "No one comes in. Go to your country!" Or sometimes people will be like, "Oh, the Mormons" "The missionaries, dang it!" It´s really hard to find people to teach.

But we are praying, doing our best to be 100% obedient, and doing all we can, and leaving the rest in the Lord´s hands. We´re working a lot with the members, and this will help. We´ve been working with the leaders, with other members, leaving thank you notes after lunch, serving the members, etc, gaining their confidence. And praying a lot. Hopefully this next week can be a little better.

Another trial is that Elder Nicholas is a little sick. He was sick a couple transfers ago, and got better about six weeks ago. But ever since then he still has had phlegm in his chest and throat really bad. He went to the mission doctor while I was in my training Friday, and found out that when he was sick he had swine flu. So now he has some pills he has to take, and for the past few days we had to go home after lunch so he could rest from 3 till 6. So we only had four hours of work. That made it a little hard to get everything done that we needed to. But this week we should be able to work full-time and get more done.

We found Elva and Karla, investigators that we´ve dropped, but we still have problems teaching because her husband doesn´t like that we come in the house. We might have to drop them again. We´re trying to be able to talk to him, teach him, do something to help him feel the Spirit. We feel that if he can feel the Spirit, we can gain his confidence more and he´ll let us teach. But it´s hard, mainly because Elva doesn´t think that anything we do will help. We need her help, but she´s not willing to give it because "he doesn´t like religion and isn´t going to change." We´ll have to see what happens there.

We haven´t been able to teach Fabiola for almost two weeks. Elder Nicholas hasn´t even met her yet. The last visit we taught the Word of Wisdom because she smokes. The Spirit was really strong, we had the testimony of a member who smoked before she was baptized, and I had confidence that Fabiola can stop. But suddenly, we lost contact. Her grandma was sick, then she had work, and it´s looking like we might have to drop her. That would mean we´re starting basically from zero again. But we´ve been doing a lot of work with members and other things, and we think that this week will be better.

The food here is really great. With lunch there´s always a salad, sometimes tomatoes and lettuce on the table that we serve ourselves, or an actual put together salad that the member makes. Then the main course is always either rice or noodles. And there´s always meat, wheter it´s chicken, beef, hot dogs, whatever. Rice or noodles, and meat. And for dessert fruit, at times ice cream. I love the food.

And I´ve lost some weight too. I still haven´t been able to weigh myself, but the other day I was with my companion from the MTC, and he said that he can see in my face that I´ve lost a lot. When I get a chance to see exactly how much, I´ll be sure and let y´all know.

On Friday we had a training in the mission home with the assistants and President and Sister May. It was really great, and I learned a lot. And this Wednesday we have a zone conference with them. I love being able to hear from President and Sister May. They´re great, and I´ve learned a lot from them both.

The language is coming. I can speak really well, although Elder Nicholas still has to correct me a lot. And I´m understanding a little more. But there are still a lot of people that I can`t understand. Especially the teenagers. They talk super fast. But it´s getting better, and hopefully soon I´ll be able to understand more fully.

Well, I think that´s about it from here. I´m enjoying the mission, and trying to work as hard as I can. I definitely feel your prayers for me, and appreciate them greatly. Also, I would encourage all of you to pray for the missionaries in your ward. There´s a quote from President Hinckley that says "It will be a great day when our people not only pray for the missionaries throughout the world, but ask the Lord to help them to assist the missionaries who are laboring in their own ward." I invite you all to pray for this. I know that when members help the missionaries, the missionaries can be more successfull in this work of the Lord. I now have a strong testimony of this, as I have seen it in my mission. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Murdoch

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